Ian Payne 4am - 7am
Rocketman Rocked: Sir Elton John's 10,000ft terror forces two aborted landings
23 February 2022, 06:03 | Updated: 23 February 2022, 07:51
Music legend Sir Elton John endured a fearsome flight as his private jet had a hydraulic failure at 10,000 feet and was left unable to land twice.
The I'm Still Standing singer was reportedly left shaken by the incident, with his plane caught up in Storm Franklin's strong winds.
Emergency services were dispatched to help after the £66 million Bombardier Global Express was forced to turn back from its trip to New York on Monday.
Firefighters raced to the scene and the runway was cleared after Sir Elton's pilot radioed ahead for an emergency landing, while police and paramedics were alerted.
#Wednesday will be a mixed day across the UK— Met Office (@metoffice) February 22, 2022
Sunny spells and the odd shower across southern regions 🌤️
Further north turning increasingly wet and windy through the morning as a band of rain and snow, with a risk of thunder, pushes south 🌧️⚡💨
Here's the latest #4cast pic.twitter.com/IFBVW8IAtU
The Sun said he was due to fly to the US for a gig on Tuesday night – but despite being shook by the incident, he took a later flight to perform on his final global tour for fans at Madison Square Garden.
Philip Thomson, a plumber who was working at the airport when he saw the landing attempts, said: "The terrible weather and epic gusts made it almost impossible to land. Two attempts to touch down failed.
"The plane was being buffeted and couldn't make it. The aircraft's nose was far too vertical. The plane was descending and was halfway along the runway when it gave up trying to hit the tarmac. It soared back in the air.
"A crowd had gathered after word went around that Elton was in difficulty. And as the plane came around again for a second attempt to land, the storm was doing its worst."
Sir Elton's jet was over Ireland, cruising at 10,000ft, when it was forced back because of the hydraulic failure.
The first attempt to land was aborted in the as the aircraft was rocked by wind, but the pilot succeeded getting it down on the third attempt.
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service confirmed in a statement that the incident was handled by the airport's own fire service.
The airport did not comment and Sir Elton's team did not provide a statement.
Sir Elton has been embarking on his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour since 2018, which has more than 300 shows in the schedule.
It is the final tour he will embark on after an illustrious career of hits including Rocket Man, Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting and Your Song.