Paul McCartney and wife inches from helicopter disaster


23 posts

Last post 16/11/2012


      Original post

      A story from an Australian newspaper. Is this true?


        If so, then this is a report of a published report on a near-miss incident back on May 3rd 2012.

        We know Paul does use chartered helicopters on occasion as Paul himself released a short clip of himself en-route somewhere during his publicity push for the Memory Almost Full album.

        I would imagine these details have come to light now as all the AAIB reports are formally published:


        Indeed this incident report is available:


        Which doesn't name the passengers or the location of the private airfield and focusses solely on the need to ensure the technical flight data is correctly analysed post event.

        I see the report has the exact same words as used in the news article which seems to indeed confirm this report is the source of the info used.


          Thanks. It must be a slow news day for the newspaper to report something that old.


            this happened in May & we are now just hearing of it? ops:

            Sir Paul McCartney and his wife were just two feet away from disaster when the pilot of their helicopter became ?disorientated? in bad weather and plunged towards trees.

            They avoided a potentially fatal crash with just a split second to spare when the pilot dramatically lifted the chartered Sikorsky S-76C away from the rain-lashed tree tops.

            The drama happened as the aircraft, with the couple on board, attempted to land at night on a helipad at their East Sussex estate.

            Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2231160/Paul-McCartney-wife-feet-disaster-helicopter-drama-Pilot-forced-terrifying-climb-brushing-tree-tops.

              stephencornish:Thanks. It must be a slow news day for the newspaper to report something that old.

              Well no.

              The AAIB report was only published on the 9th October, and only included in it's summary bulletin on the 8th November, and it's probably taken a little while for the penny to drop as to whom the passengers might be.

              The dry formal report would probably have been read by a trade journalist on a routine trawl of government publications.

              The air industry has a formal near-miss reporting procedure which has led to the investigation and publication of this report.

              If indeed Paul and Nancy, they'd probably just been told at the time that the weather conditions made it too risky to complete the local landing on the helipad which is why they diverted to the local airport.

              It's unlikely that, at that time, they'd have been informed that the formal near-miss report had been filed.

              The Daily Mail seem to be embellishing the only known details with it's "terrifying climb" headline and dramatic reporting - those implications are not carried in the report, neither Paul, Nancy nor the crew have commented on the event. There's a mention that "high torque" was applied but nothing to suggest anyone was indeed "terrified":

              The helicopter was on a commercial air transport
              (passenger) flight from Battersea Heliport to a private
              landing site in a field surrounded by trees. The
              commander was pilot flying (PF) and the conditions
              were night with low cloudbase, poor visibility, and
              rain. While manoeuvring, the commander became
              disorientated and the helicopter descended towards the
              tops of trees in the forested area to the south and west of
              the landing site. The commander executed a go-around,
              during which high torque was applied. The helicopter
              diverted to Lydd where it landed safely. The minimum
              radio altimeter value recorded during the go-around was
              two feet.

              Indeed the crux of the report seems to be concern that the helicopter, having been tested near to it's operational limit, remains airworthy for future flights with precautionary maintenance.

              I wonder if there is a separate, or subsequent enquiry into the wisdom of attempting a landing at that location in those conditions?


                I saw the news earlier this evening on the web and most national newspapers in the country mentions this incident this morning.

                By chance they landed safely but wow.. only 2 feet.. it's a bit shocking

                  If true it just reinforces the idea that tomorrow is not guaranteed to us. Live your life to the fullest and don't take it for granted.

                    Fab4Clayton:If true it just reinforces the idea that tomorrow is not guaranteed to us. Live your life to the fullest and don't take it for granted.

                    That is true for all of us each and every day.

                      msn.com reported this too (I almost had a heart attack when I read this!)


                        As my friend used to say, "always make sure you keep your personal pilot and the
                        airplane mechanic happy, they hold your lives in their hands."

                        However, once we were in a single engine Helio Courier in North Carolina.
                        We checked everything over before getting in, just 3 of us.
                        But forgot to check the water on the wings! We took off and before we could
                        reached any type of altitude we couldn't climb anymore. It was so fast and so scary no one said a word, but we were all thinking, "oh, we are going to die?" Or at least I was, I held my breath! But because the airplane was the type it was, we simply banked left and swooped around and landed. If it had been any other type of place we would not be here!

                        Glad Paul and Nancy are okay.

                          I'm sure that all of us have a "day" for die. Until then, we only have to live the best as we can.

                            Poor Paulie!! He almost had an accident like his idol Buddy Holly

                              And this isn't the first time for Paul either.

                                If he continues to fall over on stage, he might trip himself to death!


                                  I am so glad they are still with us. I hope paul lives to sing when hes 94
                                  love doris

                                    I'm sure the newspaper exaggerated this beyond the truth, and that's why we're just hearing about it.

                                      I heard it was a 'Harrods' helicopter.

                                      They fit all sorts of things into that shop...

                                        Glad they both walked away unharmed.

                                        I have no clue what happened, outside that a helicopter appears to be involved

                                          kapoo:Glad they both walked away unharmed.

                                          I have no clue what happened, outside that a helicopter appears to be involved

                                          It was at night and the pilot got disoriented and almost hit the trees. He pulled up in time and ended up landing instead at a nearby airport.

                                            jonesing:And this isn't the first time for Paul either.

                                            What were the other ones?