McCartney in near air miss

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MUSIC legend Sir Paul McCartney came just two feet from disaster when his helicopter plunged toward a tree line on his Peasmarsh estate.

The drama unfolded on Saturday night after the pilot became disorientated whuile trying to land in high winds and driving rain and plunged toward trees.

A potentially fatal crash was averted with just split seconds to spare when the pilot dramatically lifted the chartered Sikorsky S-76C away from the tree tops.

The helicopter eventually touched down safely after diverting to Lydd Airport.

It is understood that Sir Paul, 70, and his 52-year-old wife, Nancy Shevell – who have declined to comment about the incident – were unaware how close they came to crashing.

According to the investigation report, the minimum reading from the helicopter’s altimeter – which measures height by focusing on a fixed point – was ‘two feet’. It is understood the fixed point was the tree tops rather than the ground.

The report also reveals flying conditions that night included ‘low cloudbase, poor visibility and rain’.

Despite this, the 55 year old pilot pressed ahead and prepared to land on the former Beatle’s helipad, which is in the corner of a field encircled by woodland.

It adds: ‘While manoeuvring, the commander became disorientated and the helicopter descended towards tops of trees in the forested area to the south and west of the landing site.’

Sir Paul was returning from a book launch at a West End department store.