Imagine your plane is coming into land in dark and windy conditions when, as it’s about to land, the pilot’s false arm comes off!
This is exactly what happened to 47 passengers who arrived at Belfast City Airport from Birmingham on a flight in February this year.
But don’t worry, nobody was hurt – it was just a hell of a bumpy landing.
According to the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) report the captain had disconnected the autopilot and was flying manually.
As he came in to land, his false left arm which was attached to the aircraft’s yoke – used to keep the plane level when auto-pilot is switched off – came loose, and he lost control.
He considered getting the co-pilot to take control but concluded that, given the time available and the challenging conditions, his best course of action was to move his right hand from the power levers to the yoke to regain control.
Despite the drama, he actually managed to guide the Flybe plane down safely.
The AAIB report said, “He made a rapid assessment and considered instructing the co-pilot to take control.
“However, because the co-pilot would have had little time to assimilate the information necessary to take over in the challenging conditions, the commander concluded his best course of action was to move his right hand from the power lever to the yoke to regain control.
“He did this, but with power still applied, and possibly a gust, a normal touchdown was followed by a bounce, from which the aircraft landed heavily.”
The co-pilot then reduced the speed and brought it to a stop.
Image via Getty