A British pilot flying solo around the world was arrested by U.S. police today after trying to land his plane at George Bush’s ranch in Texas.
Retired vet Maurice Kirk, 63, wanted to “drop in” on the president to say thanks after American coastguards saved his life two months ago.
Mr Kirk was impressed when they rescued him from shark-infested waters of the Caribbean after his World War II plane ditched in the sea on the latest leg of his around-the-world adventure.
But when the former drinking pal of hellraising actor Oliver Reed touched down six miles from the Bush ranch armed security officials quickly surrounded his light aircraft.
He was arrested, handcuffed and taken to Austin State Hospital where he was being assessed.
U.S. officials confirmed Mr Kirk was arrested for flying into the prohibited airspace over Mr Bush’s Prairie Chapel ranch near Waco, Texas.
The president was not at home at the time but has been told of the security breach.
Mr Kirk’s wife Kirstie was waiting for news of him yesterday (tues) at the family home near Barry, South Wales.
Village vet Mrs Kirk, 48, said: “Maurice realised he could not land at the president’s ranch so he put his aircraft down nearby.
“He intended to walk to the ranch gates and pin a thank you note on them for Mr Bush.
“But instead a car drove towards him and he found two Smith and Wessons pointed at him.
“He was handcuffed, put in a police car while several other cars drew up – he thinks.