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

(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."

A Flybe plane lands at Belfast City Airport.
A Flybe plane lands at Belfast City Airport.   (Wikimedia Commons)
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