Pilot says Prince Harry’s memory of military training is ‘fantasy’

Prince Harry during military training

Harry completed two tours of Afghanistan between 2007 and 2013 (Image: AP/Rex/Shutterstock)

Another story in Prince Harry’s 407-page biography has been disputed as the consequences of its publication continue.

Spare opened up about the Duke of Sussex’s life in public, from the death of Diana to his relationship with his wife Meghan.

He delved into his military training and claimed that a British Army instructor intentionally jammed their Slingsby T67 Firefly propeller aircraft without warning.

This left the royal questioning whether it was an “aborted suicide attempt”.

Former Sergeant Major Michael Booley, who sat next to Harry, insists every detail of the training flights be discussed beforehand.

He told the Mirror that the claims were “complete fantasy”, adding: “I’m amazed at this. Even in shock.«

Previously unreleased picture dated 12/12/2012 of Prince Harry, or just Captain Wales as he is known in the British Army, does his early morning pre-flight checks on the airline at Camp Bastion in southern Afghanistan, where he serves as an Apache Helicopter Pilot/ Gunner with the 662 Sqd Army Air Corps, for four months from September 2012 to January 2013.

Harry at Camp Bastion in southern Afghanistan where he served as an Apache helicopter pilot (Image: PA)

An excerpt from Spare says: “On one of our first flights together, Booley threw the plane into a stall without warning.

“I felt the left wing buckle, a sickening sense of disorder, of entropy, and then after a few seconds that felt like decades, he retrieved the plane and straightened the wings.

“I stared at him. What the hell -? Was that an aborted suicide attempt? “No,” he said softly. That was the next step in my training.”

But Mr Booley hit back at his former student, stressing that “nothing comes as a surprise in the cockpit”.

He added: “While the book compliments me, the recollection of the outreaches and lessons is inaccurate, I’m afraid.

Sergeant Major Michael Booley (left) taught the King to fly (Image: AP/Rex/Shutterstock)

Sergeant Major Michael Booley (left) taught the King to fly (Image: AP/Rex/Shutterstock)

“Each assignment is thoroughly briefed beforehand, every single aspect. The mission will be flown exactly according to this order.

“The only time there are surprises is later in the curriculum, not as the book states, when emergencies are introduced.

“Engine failures are of course practiced before the first solo in case the student suffers one.”

Mr. Booley, who served in the military for 33 years, taught Harry how to pilot the Firefly in 2009.

He says the reference to the flying missions was “dramatized” by the ghostwriting.

Despite the alleged inaccuracies, he described the prince as “an exceptional and very talented student”.

Mr Booley said: “He is a friend and a man who I respect very much and would always have my ear.”

Metro.co.uk have reached out to the Prince’s team for comment.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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https://metro.co.uk/2023/01/22/pilot-says-prince-harrys-recollection-about-military-training-is-fantasy-18145367/ Pilot says Prince Harry's memory of military training is 'fantasy'

Justin Scaccy

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