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January 19, 2018

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Emergency landing forces David Copperfield to use Skype for ‘Today’ appearance



David Copperfield uses Skype for his “Today” interview at the airport in Peoria, Ill.

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David Copperfield and Steve Carell backstage at Hollywood Theater in MGM Grand Las Vegas.

MGM Grand headliner magician David Copperfield had to rely on Skype instead of his magic tricks to appear on NBC’s “Today” this morning. A 4 a.m. emergency landing diverted his overnight private jet trip from Las Vegas to New York, leading to him using the modern magic of the Internet from an airport outside Peoria, Ill.

David was due to launch Magic Monday’s -- a four-week run of March segments on the NBC morning show. He reported via Twitter as the emergency plane problems began when he woke up from “a loud, scary noise.”

After his flight was diverted to Pekin Airport, where flight controllers were on duty from midnight to 8 a.m., David said, “It was scary. Everyone is OK. We are happy to be on the ground and safe. Had to do the NBC broadcast via remote.”

He told NBC’s Matt Lauer via Skype: “We were 37,000 feet in the air, and I recorded the strange noise because it was lasting for a long time. I heard this crackling sound, and it wouldn’t stop. I felt kind of freaked out, and they told us we have to go back for our descent. We were going in a spiral with G-force, and we finally got to the ground ... and it turned out there was snow all around."

He had been scheduled to perform his illusions for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, comedienne Chelsea Handler and restaurateur Lidia Bastianich, whose son Joe is partnered with Mario Batali in three Venetian and Palazzo restaurants.

Check out our behind-the-scenes story Wednesday of David’s work on the new film “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” starring Steve Carell and Jim Carrey. Steve was at David’s show over the weekend at MGM Grand’s Hollywood Theater.

David flies back to Las Vegas in time for today’s 7 and 9:30 p.m. shows. It’s unknown if his plane will be repaired in time or if he’ll charter another jet.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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