Pilot loses arm while landing; damage averted

A pilot today lost control of a passenger plane after his prosthetic arm became detached during landing.

The Flybe plane was coming in to land at Belfast City Airport from Birmingham in the UK when the pilot lost his arm.

Dark, gusty conditions and time constraints meant that the pilot had to continue to guide the plane into landing with one hand, without the help of his co-pilot.

After a regular landing, the plane bounced and then hit the tarmac heavily, resulting in a 'nightmare landing' for the crew and 47 passengers aboard. But the co-pilot was able to reduce the speed and bring the aircraft to a halt.

There were no injuries and the plane was not damaged.

During the manual landing the unnamed pilot began the 'flare' manoeuvre, which is conducted just before touchdown, when his limb became detached, depriving him control of the aircraft.

In a statement, Flybe said the senior captain, had more than 8,000 hours of flying experience, and was a 'most experienced and trusted pilot'; adding that the safety of his crew and passengers had not been compromised in any way.

Flybe's director of flight operations and safety said it was proud to be an equal opportunity employer, and the safety of passengers and crew was paramount.

After an internal investigation, Flybe said safety checks had been implemented to 'ensure this type of incident could not happen again'.