PRINCE SHOWS KATE HIS CHOPPER

LONDON - Prince William landed a Royal Air Force helicopter in the garden of his girlfriend Kate Middleton's family home but the defence ministry defended his actions, saying he achieved essential training objectives.

LONDON - Prince William landed a Royal Air Force helicopter in the garden of his girlfriend Kate Middleton's family home but the defence ministry defended his actions, saying he achieved essential training objectives.

The News of the World reported that 25-year-old William, second in line to the British throne, asked Middleton's parents' permission to land at their home in Berkshire, southern England, because of a shortage of landing slots in the neighbouring county Hampshire.

Aviation analyst and RAF-trained pilot Jon Lake told the weekly paper THAT the April 3 flight was "ridiculous and inappropriate", but the ministry said the two-hour training mission was fully authorised as part of William's four-month RAF attachment.

William, the fourth successive generation of the monarchy to become an RAF pilot, received his Royal Air Force wings from his father Prince Charles on April 11 in a ceremony watched by Middleton.

Known as Flying Officer William Wales, he is due to start an attachment to the Royal Navy in June. - Reuters

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