By petedirenzo
Monday, April 04, 2011

By Paul Mahoney Lee Westwood survived an in-flight scare en route to Augusta from the Shell Houston Open when a cockpit fire forced his private jet to make an emergency landing just 30 seconds after take-off.
"I looked up and there was smoke coming down the aisle," Westwood said. "It was a bit scary. It never looks good when you can smell smoke and you turn round and see the oxygen masks drop from the ceiling and you can see the pilots have put their masks on.
"And then we went into a nose dive," Westwood said. "We had three fire engines chasing us down the runaway, but I think that's just a precaution."
Westwood said he didn't panic or see his life flash before his eyes ("this happened to me once before in Switzerland," he said of the emergency landing), but the same could not be said for his fellow passengers: caddie Billy Foster and Ross Fisher.
"I was all right, but Ross and Billy didn't look too good," Westwood said. "Billy crossed himself a couple of times and he looked terrified when we went into the nose dive."
The cause of the fire was found to be faulty electrics in the pilots' instruments panel.
"It certainly wasn't my putter that was on fire," Westwood said. "I'm saving that for this week."

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