The Duchess of Cornwall had a lucky escape, after she was 'seconds away' from head-on crash while travelling in royal helicopter.
According to the UK Airprox Board, the royal helicopter almost crashed into another aircraft – De Havilland Canada DHC-6, which was carrying parachutists at the time – during the first near collision.
The Daily Mail reported the two aircrafts had been ‘within nine seconds of a head-on crash’.
The Duchess of Cornwall’s helicopter and the other aircraft had been travelling at a collective speed of 265mph and risk of collision had been ‘high’, according to an Air Traffic Controller at RAF Marham.
Approximately 45 minutes later, whilst preparing to land, the helicopter made another emergency manoeuvre at 160mph after swerving to avoid a glider.
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall had been visiting the Sandringham Flower Show last summer when these incidents occurred. The Prince of Wales had reportedly remained in Norfolk whilst Camilla took off in a royal helicopter to return home.
The UK Airprox Board also revealed that the pilot of the De Havilland Canada DHC-6 was carrying out his eighth flight of the day. However, he had failed to alert flight controllers at RAF Lakenheath of his presence.
Staff at RAF Lakenheath had been instructed to warn the other aircraft to stay away from the royal helicopter and had made several attempts to contact the pilot, but he claimed he was ‘distracted’ by passengers in the back, according to the report.
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall had been attending the Sandringham Flower Show on the Queen’s estate, which is an annual tradition for the couple.
Last year, it took place on July 25th and the royal couple were all smiles as they greeted members of the public at the event. Camilla wore a lovely pastel blue dress for the event, that was perfect for the sunny summer weather.
We’re so glad that the helicopter was able to land safely, and that the Duchess is okay!