Prince William and Kate Middleton's RAF Voyager jet is forced to abandon landing in Islamabad and return to Lahore due to storms - as Duke jokes HE was flying after pilot made two failed bids to land

  • Pilot tried to land twice at airports in Islamabad amid lightning and turbulence
  • William took drama in his stride and walked down to check everyone was OK
  • RAF Voyager encounters 'serious storm' while in air for more than two hours
  • Flight followed day of visits to mosque, cancer hospital and cricket academy

The RAF Voyager carrying the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had to abandon its landing in Islamabad and return to Lahore due to terrible storms in Pakistan tonight.

The pilot tried to land twice at two different airports amid significant lightning and turbulence, but was forced to go back to Lahore Airport for safety reasons. 

Prince William took the mid-air drama in his stride and walked down the Airbus A330 plane to check if everyone on board was OK - even joking that he was flying. 

The RAF Voyager plane sits on the tarmac at Lahore Airport after the plane had to be diverted back to Lahore after storms in Islamabad prevented the plane from landing. It is pictured being refueled at the airport

The RAF Voyager plane sits on the tarmac at Lahore Airport after the plane had to be diverted back to Lahore after storms in Islamabad prevented the plane from landing. It is pictured being refueled at the airport

Passengers filmed dramatic flashing through the windows over the skies of Pakistan tonight

Passengers filmed dramatic flashing through the windows over the skies of Pakistan tonight

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to Badshahi Mosque in Lahore earlier today

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to Badshahi Mosque in Lahore earlier today

Royal correspondent Rebecca English, who was travelling on the plane with other members of the press, described the experience - saying 'few of us have experienced turbulence as bad as that'

Royal correspondent Rebecca English, who was travelling on the plane with other members of the press, described the experience - saying 'few of us have experienced turbulence as bad as that' 

The RAF Voyager was in the air for more than two hours, with one passenger saying it was a 'pretty serious storm', describing the flight as a 'rollercoaster'. 

'The pilot circled for an hour but the lightening - and turbulence - was so bad we had to fly back,' tweeted the Daily Mail's royal correspondent Rebecca English, who was on board the plane.

'Few of us have experienced turbulence as bad as that,' she added.

'If I'm honest ... that was the most nervous I've ever felt in a plane,' added ITV royal correspondent Chris Ship.

Daily Telegraph correspondent Ben Farmer said the pilot had tried to land twice, once at a military base in the garrison city of Rawalpindi adjacent to Islamabad, and once at Islamabad International before abandoning the attempt and returning to Lahore, some 270 kilometres (170 miles) flying distance away.

The flight from Lahore to Islamabad following a day of visits to a mosque, cancer hospital, cricket academy and children's home was only meant to take 30 minutes.

But the plane was ten minutes from landing when it encountered significant storms, with passengers filming dramatic flashing through the windows.

The Voyager then circled for an hour before trying to land at two airports – the main airport in Islamabad and then the Pakistan Air Force Base Nur Khan, Rawalpindi. 

This graphic shows a band of thunderstorms over Pakistan and its bordering countries today

This graphic shows a band of thunderstorms over Pakistan and its bordering countries today

Prince William and Kate are pictured getting off the plane at Lahore Airport earlier today

Prince William and Kate are pictured getting off the plane at Lahore Airport earlier today

The RAF Voyager plane is pictured at Lahore Airport today after landing this morning

The RAF Voyager plane is pictured at Lahore Airport today after landing this morning

However, the turbulence became too much for the plane to land, with passengers being lifted off their seats and left feeling extremely travel sick.

William, who asked travelling media if they were OK following the landing back at Lahore, joked: 'I was flying!' The duke is a former air ambulance pilot.

The plane was left sitting on the runway at Lahore tonight, as officials wait to see if they will try again if the weather improves, or go to an emergency backup plan. 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been flying around Pakistan each day on the British Government's official Voyager aircraft, courtesy of the Royal Air Force. 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been flying around Pakistan each day on the British Government's official Voyager aircraft, courtesy of the Royal Air Force. They are pictured during a visit to Badshahi Mosque in Lahore earlier today

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been flying around Pakistan each day on the British Government's official Voyager aircraft, courtesy of the Royal Air Force. They are pictured during a visit to Badshahi Mosque in Lahore earlier today

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's RAF Voyager is seen at Islamabad Airport on Monday

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's RAF Voyager is seen at Islamabad Airport on Monday

The Airbus A330, pictured on Monday night, has 58 business-class seats and 100 economy

The Airbus A330, pictured on Monday night, has 58 business-class seats and 100 economy

The couple arrived in Islamabad on Monday evening at Pakistan Air Force Base Nur Khan, Rawalpindi, before flying to Chitral on Wednesday and Lahore today.

The Airbus A330 plane can in civilian configuration carry 335 passengers, although it is instead fitted with 58 business-class seats and 100 economy seats.

The plane was first unveiled in July 2016 when David Cameron was prime minister and nicknamed 'Cam Force One' after America's presidential jet.

The aircraft is based at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire and was refitted for £10million to provide transport for ministers and members of the Royal Family. 

Prince William and Kate Middleton's RAF Voyager abandons landing

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