Carol Vorderman was forced to make an emergency landing during a solo flight after smelling smoke in the cockpit at 1,200 ft.
The 'Loose Women' star, who is training to get her Private Pilot Licence, smelt burning just moments after take-off from Gloucestershire Airfield in Staverton, Cheltenham yesterday.
The TV presenter told The Mirror: “I started lifting up at 65 knots and there was a slight smell like a fire in the distance, but I thought, ‘that doesn’t matter now’.
“I got to 1,000 feet and wanted to get up to 2,000. At 1,200 feet there was this huge whoosh and a burning smell through the cabin, and the engine started making noises.
"There wasn’t a moment to think, ‘is this the end?’ I stayed calm and went immediately into emergency checks, put the throttle down and radioed the airfield, so I could go down to land.
“Afterwards I was a bit jittery because I had two wings full of fuel.”
The 52-year-old managed to land the Piper PA-28 plane safely after air traffic control cleared the runway and had fire engines on standby at the scene.
Carol added: “I was really well prepared thanks to expert training from my instructor Debra Ford. They are investigating what happened, but it looks like a slight oil leak.”
Earlier this year, the former 'Countdown' star - who is just five sessions away from getting her Private Licence - announced her plans to fly the 29,000 miles around the world solo in 2014.
She will cover Amelia Earhart’s 1930s route next year. She was the first woman to fly the Atlantic solo, but died at 37 when her plane vanished over the Pacific.
Carol’s former Red Arrows squadron leader boyfriend Graham “Duffy” Duff will be flying Carol’s support plane.
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