British Tv presenter Carol Vorderman stared death in the face when she smelled smoke in her plane's cockpit during a solo flight.

The Loose Women presenter, a keen amateur pilot, was climbing to 2,000 feet (609 metres) after take-off when a "burning smell" engulfed the aircraft, forcing her to declare an Sos and make an emergency landing.

Vorderman is currently training for her private pilot's licence ahead of a planned round-the-world solo trip next year (14), and she was pleased with how she remained calm during her crisis in the skies over the U.K. and safely landed the Piper Pa-28 plane.

She tells Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper, "I started lifting up at 65 knots and there was a slight smell like a fire in the distance, but I thought, 'That doesn't matter now'. I got to 1,000 feet and wanted to get up to 2,000 feet. At 1,200 feet there was a huge whoosh and a burning smell through the cabin, and the engine started making noises.

"There wasn't a moment to think, 'Is this the end?'. I stayed calm and went immediately into emergency checks, put the throttle down and radioed the airfield, so I could go down to land.

"Afterwards I was a bit jittery because I had two wings full of fuel... I was really well prepared thanks to expert training from my instructor... They are investigating what happened, but it looks like a slight oil leak."