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Pilot’s prosthetic arm detaches during rocky U.K. landing

Aug. 15, 2014, Belfast, Ireland - A British air accident report has recounted how a pilot briefly lost control of a passenger plane after his artificial arm became detached from the control yoke during landing.


August 15, 2014
By The Associated Press

The report, published Thursday, said the incident took place as the
Flybe flight from Birmingham, U.K., carrying 47 passengers, was
approaching Belfast City Airport in gusty conditions in February.

The 46-year-old pilot had shortly before checked that his prosthetic
lower left arm was securely attached to the yoke clamp, but as he
performed a manoeuvre just before touchdown the limb became detached.

 

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch said the pilot considered
getting the co-pilot to take control, but concluded that the best thing
to do was to move his right hand to the yoke to regain control.

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"He did this, but with power still applied and possibly a gust
affecting the aircraft, a normal touchdown was followed by a bounce,
from which the aircraft landed heavily," the report said.

 

No one was hurt. According to the report, the pilot said he would be
more cautious about checking the attachment on his prosthesis in the
future, and that he would brief his co-pilots about the possibility of a
similar event.

 

Flybe said the pilot remained one of the airline's most experienced
and trusted pilots. Captain Ian Baston, director of flight operations
and safety, said the company employs staff with "reduced physical
abilities," including pilots. He said the airline ensures it adheres to
Civil Aviation Authority requirements and never compromises on safety.