What We Know About Elton John's Scary Mid-Flight Emergency

Elton John is officially saying goodbye to the stage and after pandemic delays and a health scare pushed back his farewell tour a number of times, he's finally back on the road. As he confirmed in June 2021, his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour would indeed consist of his "final tour dates ever" and fans have been eagerly awaiting them.

Originally, John planned to pick up performing in 2021, but that September, he revealed on Twitter that he "fell awkwardly on a hard surface" during the summer and had been in "considerable pain and discomfort" ever since. Sharing that he was having "increasing difficulties moving" and that "intensive physio and specialist treatment" simply weren't working, the singer confirmed he'd need to undergo hip surgery. That meant he needed to push his European and UK dates into 2023. 

However, John vowed to keep his North American dates pinned down, starting with New Orleans in January 2022. His U.S. tour included two stops at New York's Madison Square Garden in February and, after two years of delays, the legend wasn't about to disappoint his fans. Not even Storm Franklin, which hit the UK with major winds and flooding and prevented numerous flights from landing, could stop the 74-year-old. That said, his adventurous spirit did land him in the midst of a terrifying ordeal.

Elton John is still standing

Elton John was initially scheduled to take over NYC with his farewell tour in April 2020, but the pandemic threw a wrench in his plans. After two years of delays, the "I'm Still Standing" singer was finally going to treat fans to his iconic live show on February 22 and 23, but once again, things didn't go as planned. John arrived at Farnborough Airport, a "full service private airport" located in Hampshire, England, on the morning of February 21 and boarded his private jet en route to the Big Apple. About an hour into the flight, The Sun reports he was cruising at an altitude of 10,000 feet when hydraulic failure wreaked havoc.

The pilots are said to have immediately turned the jet around and requested to make an emergency landing back at Farnborough Airport. However, the 80-mile-per-hour winds of Storm Franklin had other plans. As one witness told the outlet, it took the pilots three tries to land safely because "epic gusts" were making their task "almost impossible." The first time, the jet was reportedly "being buffeted" and its "nose was far too vertical" to land. The second time, "the aircraft was being rocked from side to side by the wind" and it failed again. 

When it finally did touch down, it was surrounded by fire and emergency crews, but luckily, they weren't needed. According to one insider, it was a "white-knuckle ride" and John "was shaken," but he brushed himself off and caught another flight to NYC later that day. The show must go on!