King Charles

When King Charles landed his military helicopter in a potato field

Watch: The future King's helicopter flying skills were put to the test during emergency landing.

In 1974, during his time stationed at RNAS Yeovilton in Somerset, the then Prince of Wales was flying a military helicopter and made a forced landing into a field full of potatoes.

It is said that when King Charles was flying a Westland Wessex Mk 5 helicopter, one of the engines failed and he made an emergency landing, before being whisked away by another helicopter waiting on standby.

A former member of the 707 Naval Air Squadron recalls the moment King Charles' helicopter had a "serious loss of power" as he approached the M5 motorway.

Royal Navy veteran Danny Leeman says the King's flying skills were soon put to the test.

He added: "Two aircraft were flying out of Yeovilton and, as they approached the M5, Charles reported that he had a serious loss of power, from one of his two engines, so much so that it became critical, and they lost that engine, so the aircraft was only on one engine."

Mr Leeman says the helicopter is quite able to fly on one engine but "for safety reasons, they decided to put it down" and "as quick and safely as possible".

He went on to say that "the only place that they could put it down was a potato field, it was a spud field next to the M5".

The Navy veteran says that it was "not a very good location, because you can imagine all the passing traffic, two aircraft sat in a field alongside the motorway would soon attract attention, and we didn't want any publicity".

The future King was quickly transferred into the second aircraft and flown back to RNAS Yeovilton.

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