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Sir Paul McCartney’s near miss

An investigation carried out by the Department of Transport, tells how the helicopter transporting Sir Paul McCartney and his wife Nancy, was just moments from a potentially fatal crash back in May 2012. 

Sir Paul and Nancy Shevell, were returning from the launch of a vegetarian cookbook written by Mary, Sir Paul’s eldest daughter, when the pilot was preparing to land at their Peasmarsh home.  According to the report, the pilot missed two urgent warnings.  The first said ‘Low Terrain.’  This means they were just 30 seconds from an obstacle (the report shows this would have been the treetops.)  The second warning said ‘Warning Terrain,’ meaning they were only 20 seconds from contact.  The full investigation carried out by the Department of Transport’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) found that neither pilots heard either of the warnings.

The 55-year-old pilot had become ‘spatially disorientated’ and had to pull away hard, putting immense pressure on the engine of the chartered Sikorsky S-76C. The co-pilot said that he ‘momentarily’ lost the ability to speak during the unfolding drama as he was convinced they were going to crash.

The weather at the time was treacherous, and the helicopter had to divert to a nearby airport where it eventually touched down safely.

It is understood that Sir Paul and Nancy were not aware how close they had come to crashing.

Today's Breaking News

Man overboard scare sparks sea search in English Channel

By Eddie Goddard

 

A "massive search" was launched to find a passenger that was reported missing from a ferry in the English Channel.

A witness said they saw someone go overboard from the Pride of Kent ferry about six miles off the coast of Dover at about 01:30 GMT.

HM Coastguard initially said it was searching for a missing woman but later said all crew and passengers had been "accounted for safe and well".

The search for the missing passenger was stood down after eight hours.

A spokeswoman for HM Coastguard said: "The area has been extensively searched overnight and into this morning with nothing found.

"Unless any new information comes to light, the search has been stood down."

'Saw someone overboard'
 
A helicopter from Lee-on-Solent was scrambled, four lifeboats from Dungeness, Dover, Walmer and Calais, and a tug boat from the Port of Dover were launched after the passenger was reported missing in the early hours.

HM Coastguard described the operation as a "massive search".

After the ferry arrived at Calais at about 07:35 GMT, the spokeswoman for HM Coastguard said: "All crew and passengers, including the woman believed to be missing, have been accounted for safe and well.

"However, a witness on board the ferry insists they saw someone go overboard."