Diva Mariah Carey called on mechanic-turned-rapper FUNKMASTER FLEX to help her land her dream helicopter when she decided to hit the skies in style.

The singer had dreamed of owning a helicopter for years but had never found time to shop for a chopper, so she decided to enlist Flex's expertise when it came time to buy one.

The rapper agreed to help her look as long as he could film the shopping trip for his TV show RIDE WITH FUNKMASTER FLEX.

The odd couple arrived at HELINET, a Van Nuys, California company which specialises in top-of-the-range choppers, to look at prospective models, including $10 million (GBP5.5 million) ex-Army choppers used in the Desert Storm conflict in the Middle East.

Carey wasn't too impressed with the army helicopters, insisting, "It's a little butch for me, Flex."

But she did have a good idea about exactly what she wanted - for her and her pet pooch Jack: "It's for short distances when there's a lot of traffic and you gotta get to the show quickly. You could do your show from the helicopter like the weather man does.

"I need a little more leg room. It's a little tight. Jack needs a seat."

The singer eventually fell for a $5 million (GBP2.8 million) Sikorsky model and took it for a test flight - the first time Flex had been in a helicopter.

04/05/2004 09:07