JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Prince William splashes down in Canadian helicopter

Date
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge have a walkabout in the rain.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge have a walkabout in the rain. Photo: Getty Images

Prince William splashed down on a Prince Edward Island lake in a massive Sea King helicopter for an emergency water landing drill, on the fifth day of a landmark Canadian tour with his wife Catherine.

William, whose day job is a Royal Air Force search and rescue pilot in Anglesey, Wales, was taking part in a "waterbirding" exercise on Monday, midway through the British royal couple's official visit, after arriving for a private reception in nearby Charlottetown, capital of Prince Edward Island, on Sunday evening.

The controlled landing procedure was developed in Canada in the event of engine failure while military helicopters scout for enemy submarines or during search and rescue operations.

Safe landing ... Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, takes part in a demonstration of waterbirding.

Safe landing ... Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, takes part in a demonstration of waterbirding. Photo: Getty Images

A half dozen members of William's air force unit have come here each year to learn the manoeuvre, Major Patrick MacNamara, navigator on William's training exercise, said.

"He'd heard a lot about it from his mates back home and wanted to try it," he said.

As his wife Kate looked on nervously from the shores of Dalvay By The Sea, a historic hotel site 50 kilometres from the PEI capital, William took the controls of the military whirlybird and dove it into a small lake, then skimmed along the water like a duck before taking off vertically.

"That was cool!" screamed an onlooker.

Canadian Forces Major Mark Kotzer explained it was "very important for the pilot [William] to keep the tail rotor out of the water", as the prince repeated the procedure a dozen times.

On the fifth landing, William shut off one of the Sea King's two engines to simulate engine failure, coming in faster and harder and kicking up a mist of lake water over the hundreds of fans watching from shore.

He also tried a few blind landings, using only the helicopter's onboard instruments.

"It was extremely well done," said Kotzer.

"He was having quite a bit of fun," observed MacNamara afterwards. "And he certainly knows what he's doing in an aircraft," he added, describing William's landings as "very crisp".

"It's a very different feeling landing in water: (for the pilot) the horizon sits much lower than you're used to [on land], and you can feel the water rush underneath the helicopter," he said.

William and Kate also competed in Chinese dragon boat races with Canada's national team (William's team won "by a narrow margin") and would later observe search and rescue operations from the deck of a coast guard ship.

Kate had reportedly practised paddling prior to her arrival in Canada.

"It was a very close race," said Stephen Gallant, captain of Kate's dragon boat, cheekily downplaying his team's loss by a boat-length. "They [William's team] started off strong out of the gate, but we caught up."

Earlier on Monday, a children's choir and a crowd of 15,000 welcomed the royal couple to Prince Edward Island's legislature and birthplace of the Canadian federation, waving placards saying "Kate can I borrow your dress", as a light rain started to come down.

William and Kate, in a cream pencil dress by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen, had arrived in PEI from Quebec province as part of their nine-day tour of Canada.

"It is quite a moment for Catherine and me to be standing here in Atlantic Canada, in front of Province House, where Canadian Federation was forged," the prince said.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also shared a few words on the steps of Province House with actors posing as Canada's founding fathers who first gathered at the site in 1864 and conceived of the idea of the nation of Canada. Confederation would follow in 1867.

Afterwards, the royal couple glad-handed with fans before taking a carriage ride down the main street.

Their stop in Eastern Canada comes after a somewhat rocky reception in French-speaking Quebec.

William and Kate had charmed a crush of well-wishers in Quebec City on Sunday but were rushed through their visit of Montreal one day earlier as police lines kept republican protests away from their first official foreign trip as newlyweds.

On Monday evening William and Kate will move on to Yellowknife in Canada's Northwest Territories for aboriginal sports and then Calgary for a rodeo, before leaving Canada and heading for Los Angeles on July 9.

AFP

twitter Follow Life&Style on Twitter @Life_Style_News

12 comments

  • Good to hear Willy is not a pilot poser and can really fly the aircraft-good to see there's some substance to the young fella' who would be King.......

    Commenter
    Matt
    Location
    Northern Beaches-Syd
    Date and time
    July 05, 2011, 11:01AM
    • Is everytime they move going to be reported on? Nobody cares. Theres thousands of people gettin married every week, why arent they reported on everytime they pickup a teaspoon?

      When is Virgin starting those trips to the moon, I wanna be off this planet if this pair ever breed. there will be 210948210498230498 specials in every magazine/paper/electron on the interwebs,.

      Commenter
      Bruce
      Location
      Langwarrin
      Date and time
      July 05, 2011, 11:07AM
      • Can't wait for that same sad person who bothers to comment negatively on all these articles, finishing with "republic" in big letters.

        I for one agree with the earlier comment that it's great that William can actually fly the aircraft. He's one up on most of us when it comes to being useful to one's army and country. I also think that if he and Kate can use their popularity with the media & press in the same good way his mother did, then all the better.

        Commenter
        Brace yourselves
        Date and time
        July 05, 2011, 11:32AM
        • Its all wonderful "feel good" stories for the peasants to soak up.

          The English working class are the biggest perpetuators of their monarchy. Something about the comfort of no change and a royal family to look over them.

          Commenter
          lol
          Date and time
          July 05, 2011, 12:32PM
          • He's my hero! She's every guy's muse.
            Nice to have some light hearted, "good news" that even a Republican can enjoy.

            Commenter
            Cool
            Location
            Sydney
            Date and time
            July 05, 2011, 12:45PM
            • @ lol, think you just described the Australian working class perfectly.

              Commenter
              Bigger Lol
              Location
              Sydney
              Date and time
              July 05, 2011, 12:48PM
              • he is a really big nerd..

                she can do better...

                Sec code: WISHER

                Commenter
                VL_Turbo
                Location
                Melb
                Date and time
                July 05, 2011, 1:00PM
                • The Bear likes the pair of them.

                  But, damn, William, go to the focking hair clinic. Please. Mrs Bear keeps banging on about it. So, you know, for the sake of the Bear, just get it done. OK?

                  Commenter
                  TBear (Warm Cave)
                  Location
                  Sydney
                  Date and time
                  July 05, 2011, 1:10PM
                  • As a human being this guy shites on you naysayers/bogans out there. Have you achieved anything near what his guy has achieved in his life all the while being under such close public scrutiny.

                    I very much doubt it yet you come in here spewing stupid uneducated vitriol and think you are smart .

                    You are pathetic and god it shows slap on your flannies and off to centrelink with you

                    Commenter
                    Greta Garbo
                    Location
                    Sydney
                    Date and time
                    July 05, 2011, 3:19PM
                    • @Greta Garbo | Sydney - July 05, 2011, 3:19PM

                      I am sorry poor Greta, to disappoint you, but i don't fit into your narrow minded view that anyone who dislikes "Royal Propaganda" is a naysayer or bogan. It only goes to highlight your own bigoted and blinkered mentality. Also, I am not really to sure how one person shites over another, please elaborate.

                      That's not to clever really putting all in that basket. Also what is wrong with a bogan or naysayer or people who rely on centrelink. Do you pour scorn on a bogan when you see one in the street. Such prejudice is despicable.

                      As for young Bill and his achievements - pls also elaborate how one who has endless supply of money and open doors to the very best of everything, cannot fail to play Polo, pilot a helicopter, or marry such an attractive woman. I sure with all his socialising with the world's elite, Bill is probably a charming fellow, with witty anecdotes from his travels.

                      Did you not see that his Dad just got a 300,000 pound increase on his allowance, while teachers are on strike over over wages and their pensions hammered.

                      If someone is a good actor, business woman, etc they deserve all they can command based on "THEIR SKILL"

                      Elitism based on birth rite, is....how did you so eloquently put it... "pathetic and uneducated".

                      Commenter
                      lol
                      Date and time
                      July 05, 2011, 5:57PM

                      More comments

                      Comments are now closed
                      Featured advertisers

                      Horoscopes

                      Capricorn horoscope

                      Trust others to think for themselves. Don't be snobbish about what seems obvious. Everyone learns at their own pace, including you.

                      ...find out more here