A Qantas charter flight carrying Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, was forced to suddenly abort its landing due to another aircraft on the runway, according to fellow passengers.
Video taken by Simon Atkinson, the BBC’s Australia-based videojournalist, shows the view from the plane’s window as it makes its approach into Sydney Airport, before ascending once again as the runway comes into view.
The pilot executed the maneuver, also known as a go-around, while low enough for the passengers to see cars driving on the roads below.
Go-arounds are fairly routine in commercial aviation and they are no more dangerous than a standard takeoff.
Rebecca English, a journalist who was on the plane, tweeted that the pilot “had to pull up seconds from landing in Sydney” because they were “too close” to the plane on the tarmac.
Another journalist, Hello! magazine’s Royal Editor Emily Nash, said with characteristic British understatement that, as a “nervous flier” the aborted attempt wasn’t her “ideal experience,” but that everyone on board had remained calm.
She added that it was the flight’s female co-pilot, Ann Cole, who had safely landed the plane on the second attempt.
Second time lucky
On the second approach, the plane landed safely and without incident, according to CNN Australia affiliate Seven News.
Atkinson, the BBC cameraman, said the pilot encouraged his passengers to make the most of the extra flight time.
“You’ll get another great view of the harbor,” he said, according to Atkinson.
The royal couple, who announced earlier this month that they are expecting their first child, were traveling back to Sydney from the South Pacific island nation of Tonga as part of their Autumn tour, which has taken in Australia, Fiji and Tonga.
The couple will stay in Sydney for two nights before traveling to New Zealand.