Pilot Loses Prosthetic Arm—as He's Landing Plane
He managed to set it down without passenger injuries, plane damage
By Arden Dier, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 14, 2014 11:35 AM CDT
A Flybe plane lands at Belfast City Airport.   (Wikimedia Commons)

(Newser) – You might imagine landing a plane with both hands on the controls would be hard enough. Add windy conditions and a prosthetic arm that essentially fell off, and you've got the plight of a Flybe pilot flying into Belfast earlier this year. According to an accident report, the pilot had made sure his prosthetic left arm was attached to the clamp that helped him fly the plane before he turned off autopilot. But as the aircraft neared Belfast City Airport, "his prosthetic limb became detached from the yoke clamp, depriving him of control of the aircraft" with too little time for a co-pilot to take control, the BBC reports on the February incident.

The pilot then moved his right hand from the controls to the yoke clamp "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. There were no injuries or damage to the plane, and after a "detailed internal investigation," per the Daily Mail, the airline has added safety checks "to ensure that this type of incident could not happen again," a Flybe rep said. He added as "an equal opportunities employer ... we do employ staff with reduced physical abilities" and the pilot in question is one of the airline's "most experienced and trusted pilots."

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Showing 3 of 13 comments
Ezekiel 25:17
Aug 17, 2014 11:34 AM CDT
It depends on which arm is gone and which seat he's in. Captain is in left seat and first officer is in right. The yoke is a stick mounted on the side of the wall. So a prosthetic arm plays a big part in this plane crashing if this guy is in the wrong seat when something like a gust of wind happens and you need to do a dip-wing flare for landing. Obviously his aviation agency passed him on the check flight which takes this kind of incident into account.
HANKHILL
Aug 16, 2014 12:11 AM CDT
one arm aint nothin my pilot was BLIND! notttttt
SuperIntendant
Aug 14, 2014 7:15 PM CDT
I just flew in from Belfast, and boy is my prosthetic arm tired.