Prince Pilots Chopper to Gal Pal's Home

Military defends 'royal heir farce'
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 20, 2008 5:50 AM CDT
Britain's Prince William and his girlfriend Kate Middleton walk in RAF Cranwell, England after William received his RAF wings from his father the Prince of Wales Friday April 11, 2008.    (AP Photo/Michael Dunlea, Pool)
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(Newser) – British officials have defended allowing Prince William to land a military helicopter on a field next to the home of his girlfriend’s family after the media blasted it as “ridiculous and inappropriate,” the BBC reports. “This was a routine training sortie"—and no one entered or exited the chopper, said the Ministry of Defense. Wills' girlfriend Kate Middleton and her parents watched the landing from their home.

But an aviation expert slammed the flight earlier this month as a “waste" of training hours. "No other pilot at Prince William's stage of training would be allowed anywhere near" the driver's seat of the helicopter, he told the News of the World. The paper said Wills used the field because of a shortage of landing spaces in the area. The prince recently wrapped up an abbreviated training course as preparation to nominally lead the UK military.