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Two near misses for Duchess of Cornwall in helicopter

There were two near misses for the Duchess of Cornwall while flying in a helicopter from Sandringham where she and the Prince of Wales had visited the Sandringham Flower Show to her Wiltshire home, according to the Daily Mail.

She had taken off from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Norfolk home, Anmer Hall at 1.11 pm.

Her Royal Highness was flying in the Sikorsky S76 from The Queen’s Flight when it had to swerve to avoid collisions twice in an hour in July 2018 according to UK Airprox Board reports.

The first incident, taking place on 25 July, had the Duchess coming within nine seconds of a head-on crash with an aircraft transporting parachutists. Their combined speed was 260 mph.

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Around 45 minutes later, while descending in preparation for landing, the helicopter made another emergency manoeuvre, this time at 161 mph to avoid colliding with a glider that, luckily, was spotted half a mile away.

An RAF Marham, Norfolk air controller, admitted to investigators that the risk of collision had been “very high.”

Six minutes after takeoff air traffic control from RAF Marham saw a de Havilland Canada DHC-6 was airborne and headed northeast toward the Sikorsky S76. The pilot of the de Havilland Canada DHC-6de was on his eighth flight of the day and forgot to notify air traffic control at RAF Lakenheath. The air traffic control at RAF Marham alerted their counterparts at RAF Lakenheath, Suffolk to stay away from the royal flight.

However, ‘numerous’ attempts to contact the pilot of the DHC-6de were unsuccessful as he was “distracted by passengers in the back,” according to the investigation report. A minute later, the royal flight was warned of the DHC-6de and adjusted his altitude to 5,400 feet, but the other flight was also climbing and didn’t turn away to avoid a collision. The royal pilot veered right as the alarm sounded in the cockpit, and at the same time, the DHC-6de noticed the helicopter and also veered right.

The Prince of Wales was not believed to have been on board, as it is thought he remained in Norfolk.

Neither Buckingham Palace or Skydive Chatteris have commented.

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