Pilot’s Arm Falls Off, Lands Plane On His Own Anyway

He probably couldn’t join passengers in clapping for this landing.

A pilot flying a Flybe plane with 47 passengers aboard learned an important lesson on a flight to Northern Ireland: always make sure your arm is attached before landing.

An unnamed 46-year-old pilot was landing a Dash 8 plane at Belfast City Airport in gusty weather conditions when his lower left arm prosethetic became detached from its yoke clamp and he lost control…

According to the BBC,

Shortly before beginning to land the Dash 8 aircraft, the 46-year-old had checked that his prosthetic lower left arm was securely attached to the clamp that he used to fly the aircraft, with the latching device in place.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) report said the captain had disconnected the autopilot and was manually flying the aircraft.

…While he had thought about getting his co-pilot to take control, the time available and the challenging conditions meant his best course of action was to move his right hand from the power levers on to the yoke to regain control.

“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 found.

Oddly enough I think I would totally want this captain in the left seat on my next flight.


About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. “Oddly enough I think I would totally want this captain in the left seat on my next flight.”

    Nothing odd about it. I would want him, too. He has proven he is not suffering from victim mentality. He is in charge. He is cool and calm under pressure. I like this guy.

  2. My dad is a prosthetist, and it infuriates home when people call a prosthesis a prosthetic. “conditions when his lower left arm prosethetic.” Should be changed to “conditions when his lower left arm prosethesis.” Don’t know if you wrote this, or if you’re quoting a news source. If you’re quoting a news article, it’s probable fine not to change.

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