Wed, Jul 06, 2005
Prince William Ended Up Diverted Back To Christchurch
Britain's Prince William, making his
first unaccompanied trip overseas, didn't quite make it to his
destination Tuesday... after his royal aircraft tried twice to land
in the New Zealand town of Invercargill. The prince was reportedly
quite calm -- perhaps the most calm of anyone connected to the
Faced with thick fog, the Air New Zealand ATR-72 (file photo of
type, below right) descended to decision altitude twice before the
pilot decided to divert to Christchurch -- mostly because he didn't
have the fuel reserves to wait out the weather.
UK news outlets Wednesday touted headlines like, "Prince's
Mid-Air Drama" and "Plane Carrying Prince William Forced To Abort
Landing Twice," but William seemed perfectly at ease with the whole
concept of flying a missed approach.
A spokesman for the prince said the royal was "completely
relaxed" and thought he was "in good hands."
"Ladies and gentlemen, boys and
girls, sorry about that. We made two approaches. We did the best we
could," pilot Jeff Lynton told William and the other 65 passengers
on board. "I wanted to get the boy down. He's got things to do.
I've only had this once before and I've been flying for five years.
It was an absolute oncer. It just had to happen on this day of all
The diversion forced William to cancel plans to attend a rugby
match in Arrowtown.
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