Prince Charles and Camilla in mid-air helicopter terror


VALLEY, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 09:  Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall arrives by helicopter for a private visit at RAF Valley on July 9, 2012 in Valley, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool /Getty Images)

A report by the Air Accidents Information Branch (AAIB) has revealed that Prince Charles and Camilla were involved in an emergency landing in May last year, when the helicopter they were travelling in started veering to one side.

The Mirror reports that the Royal couple were travelling to the Hay-on-Wye Festival with four other passengers when the situation occurred. They were briefed about the problem and told that the two pilots would make a 'running landing' at Denham.

Although a royal source described it as "quite a hairy incident", it was an uneventful landing and no one was hurt.

The Daily Mail reports that the couple were travelling in a Sikorsky S-76C helicopter when it began to veer - or yaw - to one side. Pilots were unable to balance the aircraft, so they declared what is known as a 'Pan' emergency - one below a Mayday - before landing at a nearby aerodrome.

The report of the incident was made public for the first time yesterday. It says that the problem was caused when a 2mm metal ball, which controls the helicopter's dynamics, shattered some time after take-off from Heathrow.

The shaken couple continued their journey to Hay-on-Wye by car, arriving three hours late. Despite the drama they both seemed happy and relaxed as they met members of the public who had turned out to greet them.

The report indicates that the fault was repaired following the incident and the helicopter has been flown since 'without incident'.

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