Frankie Dettori moves viewers to tears reliving fatal plane crash that traumatised him for years

FRANKIE DETTORI moved viewers to tears when reliving the fatal plane crash that left him traumatised for years.

The legendary jockey, 50, miraculously escaped with his life when his private plane caught fire in Newmarket 21 years ago.

Dettori moved viewers to tears when recalling the fatal plane crash that changed his life


Dettori moved viewers to tears when recalling the fatal plane crash that changed his life
Dettori and Cochrane in hospital after the disaster


Dettori and Cochrane in hospital after the disasterCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
It was a miracle the two jockeys survived but the pilot tragically lost his life


It was a miracle the two jockeys survived but the pilot tragically lost his lifeCredit: Reuters

Dettori was pulled from the wreckage by friend Ray Cochrane but pilot Patrick Mackey was tragically killed.

The jockey said he had ‘no strength to scream’ as the jet, which got just 100ft into the air, suddenly burst into flames and torpedoed down.

Dettori spoke of the harrowing experience on This Morning, where he recalled part of his iconic career retold in new book Leap of Faith to presenters Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby.

Describing every harrowing detail, dad-of-five Dettori said: “I thought there was no way I was going to get out of it.

“I looked to Ray and I was staring at the ground, the plane was going down.

“I had this feeling of… not fear of dying, because I knew I was going to die, but I was just disappointed that God was going to take me and I was not ready for it.

“I had a six-month-old child and life was going so great – I just had this feeling of, ‘oh no, it’s all over, finished’.

“I didn’t see my life flashing in front of me, I just had the feeling of it being over.

“It’s just awful to think what me and Ray went through.”

Astonishing pictures showed the smouldering wreckage.


It was an absolute miracle that Dettori and Cochrane survived – but terrible that pilot Patrick, 52, was not so fortunate, and Dettori later touched on his ‘survivor’s guilt’.

He continued: “I’m sure there are people that have had similar experiences – but yes, it did change my life.

“I wasn’t the same person for a couple of years, I was still in trauma.

“But I had some good family around me and eventually I pulled through.

“It’s one of those things I found really hard to talk about a while ago, but now a lot of years have gone by and I’m able to explain it and express myself and what I’ve been through.

“It was 20 years ago but now I can talk about it – I have had it inside me all this time.

“When you have a trauma like that you try to forget about it, but when I did the book and relived it, I felt I could relax now.”


Dettori said blood was pouring out of his eye after the crash and he needed plastic surgery on his face.

But he was discharged from hospital a week later, just in time to go to Patrick’s funeral.

Television star Lizzie Cundy was just one of the viewers touched by Dettori’s words.

She wrote on Twitter: “Gosh @FrankieDettori you were so honest and brave on @thismorning. You had me in tears! What an amazing interview.”

While another said: “@FrankieDettori fabulously honest, real and humble – loved the interview and can’t wait to read his book.”

Dettori also touched on his relationship with The Queen, and revealed her mischievous side.

The Italian, who said Her Majesty ‘looked tired’ when he saw her at Ascot recently, said: “Her knowledge [of horses and racing] is absolutely incredibly, what an amazing human being.

“She also likes a laugh and a joke – she’s funny!”

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