When a Flybe pilot’s false arm detached as he was about to land a plane in windy conditions, he opted not to call for help and landed the plane with one hand.
Just as the Dash 8 plane was about to touchdown at Belfast City Airport, the 46-year-old pilot’s prosthetic arm detached from a clamp connected to the steering yoke, causing him to briefly lose control of the plane, The Telegraph reports.
Instead of having his co-pilot takeover, the unidentified captain determined the best course of action was to move his right arm from the power levers to the steering yoke. The plane, with 47 passengers on board, bounced after touchdown and landed heavily, but nobody was injured and the plane was not damaged.
“The senior captain referred to in this report is one of Flybe’s most experienced and trusted pilots,” Captain Ian Baston, Flybe director of flight operations and safety, said in the new report from the Air Accidents Investigation Board detailing the February incident. “The airline confirms that at no time was the safety of its passengers or crew compromised in any way, nor was the aircraft damaged.”
The captain said he would use more caution in the future, when checking the connection between his prosthesis and the steering yoke, the AAIB report stated, and he will brief his co-pilots so they are ready to take control of the plane at any time.
Baston also said in the report Flybe is proud to be an equal opportunities employer. “The safety of our passengers and crew is our number one priority,” he said. “This means that Flybe not only adheres to the CAA’s strict requirements relating to the employment of staff with a reduced physical ability, but exceeds them to ensure that safety is never compromised.”