The plane transporting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex back to Australia from Tonga was forced to make an aborted landing on Friday evening as it attempted to touch down at Sydney Airport.
The Qantas jet ascended back into the air just moments before touching down after the quick thinking pilots spotted another aircraft on the runway.
The moment our quick-thinking @Qantas co-pilot Ann Cole (and Captain Nigel Rosser) aborted landing at @SydneyAirport due to an unexpected plane on the runway. The Sussexes (and us!) were in great hands. Fantastic flying✈️ pic.twitter.com/cb8G6ja1L7
— Omid Scobie (@scobie) October 26, 2018
Ann Cole, the flight’s co-pilot, realised the runway was not clear and managed to get the jet back into the safety of the air.
The plane then circled back round in an attempt to land again, this time succeeding.
WATCH as flight carrying Duke & Duchess of Sussex aborts landing into Sydney. @qantas pilot says reason was another plane on the runway – and sees the positives… “You’ll get another great view of the harbour”. #RoyalTour #HarryandMeghan pic.twitter.com/TLWA76vIuO
— Simon Atkinson (@atko1978) October 26, 2018
Around 100 people were on the chartered flight, including the Duke and Duchess, their staff, police officers and around 60 journalists.
Royal Central’s Deputy Editor Jamie Samhan was on the flight and said: “I didn’t even notice we pulled up again until a few people pointed it out.
“As soon as we re-entered the clouds everyone knew something was up. It was only due to a slow plane already on the runway, but definitely a bit of excitement to end a5.5-hour flight.”