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Why King Charles stopped piloting planes following near-miss crash

King Charles' had a near-miss when landing a plane in 1994

Prince Of Wales piloting a plane
Emmy Griffiths
Emmy GriffithsTV & Film Editor
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While there is certainly a history of pilots in the royal family, with the late Prince Phillip and Princes William and Harry all famously being keen pilots, did you know that King Charles III also had an interest in flying before stopping after a near-miss crash? Find out more…

In our latest episode of A Right Royal Podcast, we were joined by the royal family's former pilot Graham Laurie, who discussed the heart-stopped moment that he and Charles' plane went off the runway while the royal was piloting the aircraft back in 1994. Listen to the fascinating retired pilot recount the fascinating tale in his own words…

Detailing the situation, Graham explained: "We were flying from Aberdeen to Isley in the Western Isles of Scotland. And he did the landing. And the non-operating pilot, which was me in that case in the right-hand seat, pushed the control column forward as soon as we were on the ground, and unfortunately, we were going a little bit faster than I realised and it lifted the main wheels off the ground."

A Right Royal Podcast season 2 episode 2 highlights

  • The real reason why Prince Charles stopped piloting planes
  • Princess Anne's favourite airplane meal: Fray Bentos pies
  • Why William stopped flying with Princess Diana, Prince Charles and Prince Harry aged just 12
  • How he learned of Diana's death and flew Prince Charles to fly back coffin to the UK
  • The trip William and Harry were meant to take the day after Diana's death
  • How Balmoral is so different to other royal residences and why they can relax the most there
  • The surprising shoes the late Queen wore under her robes

King Charles III stopped piloting planes in 1994© AARON CHOWN
King Charles III stopped piloting planes in 1994

He continued: "Now we're sitting right over the nosewheel. He pressed the brakes and he said they're not working. I said I have control and took it over. And he was absolutely right. They weren't working. Because the main wheels were not on the ground. What had happened, they would they were literally about a few inches above the ground. And then when they did come down, the brakes were already on. And consequently, the tires burst." Tune in to the podcast to hear the whole tale – and why the close call caused him to stop piloting planes.

king charles plane© Photo: Getty Images
The royal often uses air travel

Speaking about whether he was feeling nervous in that moment, Graham continued: "I was keen to stop the aircraft to put it mildly and tried to turn it off. But we were going, we went off the runway probably doing only about ten miles an hour or something like that. It wasn't careering off the runway. It was one of those things, not my proudest moment. I was very sorry it happened. And it certainly wasn't his fault."

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