News has just emerged that David Cameron narrowly escaped injury after being forced to jump to safety from a helicopter.
The Tory leader leapt to safety and a disaster was averted when the pilot managed to land the chopper on a bed of car tyres.
Mr Cameron was a passenger in the craft flying back from Manchester when the handle for the landing gear came off in the pilot’s hand during the flight bak in May 2008.
Faced with a dwindling fuel supply and the likelihood that an emergency landing could flip the helicopter over, pilot Philip Armadeus brought the helicopter to a hover above the ground.
Mr Cameron and fellow crew members jumped around three feet to safety, while Mr Armadeus landed the helicopter on a bed of car tyres in a remote area near Redhill Aerodrome in Surrey.
An Air Accident Investigation Branch report praised the 54-year-old pilot – and the aerodrome staff who found the tyres – for preventing a disaster.
It revealed: ‘The commander estimated that he had about 15 minutes of fuel remaining,’ said the report. ‘It was decided that the safest course of action would be for the helicopter to land on pre-positioned car tyres.
“These were obtained from a local garage, once it was clear that no other practical solution was available.”
The report added: “The car tyres were placed in two parallel lines and the helicopter was landed on the tyres, with the aid of an engineer giving hand signals.”
Denna Bowman, Head Office