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Two RAF Officers Blamed for Prince Charles’ Rough Landing

July 20, 1995

LONDON (AP) _ Prince Charles was at the controls last year when a Royal Air Force jet overshot a runway and ended up nose-down in a bog. But it was the captain’s fault, a government report said Wednesday.

Charles, who has been flying for 25 years, was not blamed, but he let it be known that he won’t take the controls of Royal Squadron aircraft or helicopters in the future.

On June 29, 1994, the British Aerospace 146 twin-engine jet, with 11 people aboard and Charles at the controls, landed too fast on a runway on the Isle of Islay off Scotland, blew a tire and came to rest with the nosewheel sinking in soft ground. No one was injured but the plane was damaged.

In its report on the investigation, the Ministry of Defense blamed the accident on the captain for allowing a mishandled approach and the landing to continue beyond a point from which a safe stop was possible.

To avoid a cloud, the captain told the prince to follow an approach path that was steeper and faster than normal, the report said. There was a tail wind, it said.

``For failure to advise the captain of the tail wind component, and to draw his attention to the inaccurate approach parameters, the inquiry also deemed the navigator to be negligent,″ the report said.

Neither man was identified.

Charles got his private pilot’s license in 1970 and his pilot’s wings in 1971 after he entered Royal Air Force College. He is also a helicopter pilot and served in a Royal Naval Air Squadron.

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