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Pilot’s arm falls off during landing

Airplane
TonyYao/Thinkstock
Flybe, a UK based discount airline, is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. They will hire people with disabilities, including pilots with prosthetic limbs. A one-armed pilot ran into rough wind coming in for a landing recently and something happened that even aviation experts have probably never heard of before. His arm came off.

Here’s how a CNN report describes the bizarre incident:

The 46-year-old pilot lost control in dark and windy conditions while bringing a Flybe airline turboprop plane with 47 passengers into Belfast City Airport in Northern Ireland.
A report released Thursday by Britain’s Air Accident Investigation Branch said the unnamed pilot’s false limb became detached as he performed a “flare manoeuver” in which the nose of the plane is raised.
The pilot managed to regain control and make a “heavy landing,” it said.
The February 12 incident resulted in no injuries among the passengers or four crew, but triggered an investigation.
“As he made the flare manoeuvre … his prosthetic limb became detached from the yoke clamp, depriving him of control of the aircraft,” the report said.
“He made a rapid assessment of the situation and considered alerting the co-pilot and instructing him to take control.”
However, it said, because the co-pilot would not have time to take stock of what was happening, he decided the best option was to continue one-handed.”

Happily, he pulled off a normal touchdown except for one very heavy bounce but with no injuries reported. Yep, you gotta give him a hand. Yes, yes I actually did just say that.

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