For many people, flying is a terrifying experience. It’s an understandable fear – getting from one place to the next via plane requires sitting in a 500-ton piece of metal as it hurtles through the sky, only held up by the movement of air around the wings. Now, Elton John isn’t typically afraid of traveling in his private jet, but there’s always a chance of disaster.
The odds of experiencing a fatal plane crash are slim (1 in 9,821). To put that into perspective, the odds of dying in a car crash are about 1 in 114. But Elton John came close to becoming a statistic on Monday morning when his private jet suffered a hydraulic failure en route to New York.
Shortly after leaving Farnborough, the jet malfunctioned, forcing the pilot to turn around and attempt to land on the south coast of Ireland. However, disaster struck once more an hour later, when ambulance and police crews were notified of an emergency landing. The plane had flown directly into a violent storm, wind gusts reaching 80 mph.
The pilot attempted to land twice but was buffeted by the storm both times. The nose of the aircraft was vertical, leaving the pilot no choice but to abandon his efforts to hit the tarmac and return to the sky.
As word spread that Elton John was in danger in his private jet, a crowd gathered below. On the third attempt, the pilot touched down at last, and a shaken Elton John descended the plane’s steps – to get on another plane. This might sound unthinkable, but the legendary musician was determined to reach the United States in time for his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour.
Elton John Farewell Tour Kicks Off After Three Postponements
Elton John is no doubt dedicated to his fans, and that dedication is likely part of what fueled his decision to hop on a plane immediately after almost dying in one. However, another motivating emotion could be frustration from postponing his tour three times already. Elton simply refused to accept a fourth.
Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour was announced way back in 2018. He successfully completed the first leg of the tour, but the music icon was forced to postpone the remaining dates. The first postponement occurred due to the pandemic. Artists everywhere put their careers on hold as the world shut down for nearly two years.
The second postponement occurred after John suffered a hip injury and required surgery. The third (and, hopefully, final) delay was announced when Elton John tested positive for COVID-19. Thankfully, Elton only experienced “mild symptoms” and the illness only affected two dates.
For fans of the Tiny Dancer star, the upcoming retirement is bittersweet. Elton John, however, feels comfortable in his farewell.
As a 76-year-old man, he’s ready to kick back and relax with his family. “I want to be with my family,” John said. “I’ve been touring since I was 17, in the back of a van. I have had the most incredible life. I’ve been so lucky and I’ve loved every single minute of it but I’ve had enough of applause… I’ll be 76 years of age when I stop touring in 2023.”
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