14 Aug

CNN– It’s probably one of the more unusual incidents air traffic investigators have looked into, but the good news is that when a pilot’s prosthetic arm fell off during landing, no one got hurt.

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.


They kept the pilot’s name out of the reporting but I’m going to assume he looks something like this:

arm fall of

The article goes on to detail what happened a little more specifically:

“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.

“Considered alerting the co-pilot”?  That’s LOL funny. He decided he was better off landing the plane one-handed than giving his co-pilot the chance to out-shine him. I like your style, anonymous Flybe pilot.

 Not surprisingly, Flybe is described as an “English low-cost regional airline.”  Can you get any more budget than this?  A pilot with the potential to lose an arm mid-flight?  It’s seriously like the start to a bad joke.  “Did you hear about the one-armed pilot?”  Not only that, but upon conducting an investigation, they don’t really see much wrong with what happened.  Their report claims the pilot has pledged to be “more cautious about checking the attachment on his prosthesis.”  That’s a solid place to start I’d say.

I’m all for equal opportunity employment and all that, but there have to be limits when you’re responsible for the lives of others and your impairment makes safe-vouching said lives that much more challenging.  Does Flybe realize that if this hadn’t worked out as it did, the resulting shitstorm of lawsuits would have bankrupted them times infinity?  Oh well, give the guy a pep talk, tell him not to let it fall off again, and send him right back out there.  Hell, give him a raise while you’re at it.

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