File photo: The unnamed pilot was not injured in the crash but caused damage to the Jodel D117A light aircraft’s landing gear, engine and propeller. Picture: Wikimedia Commons
File photo: The unnamed pilot was not injured in the crash but caused damage to the Jodel D117A light aircraft’s landing gear, engine and propeller. Picture: Wikimedia Commons

One-armed pilot crashes plane after flying with DIY limb

By Daily Mail and travel reporter Time of article published Apr 17, 2020

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London - A one-armed pilot crashed his plane after a prosthetic limb he had adapted himself became detached mid-flight, an investigation found.

The amputee pilot, who had worked as a doctor specialising in prosthetics, used his expertise to create a bespoke adapter which would allow him to fly.

The 69-year-old had been flying circuits at Full Sutton Airfield, near York, in April last year when – around 5ft above ground – the homemade device became disconnected from the controls and he lost control of the aircraft.

The unnamed pilot was not injured in the crash but caused damage to the Jodel D117A light aircraft’s landing gear, engine and propeller, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch found.

The report noted the man, who had no left forearm, had held a flying licence for nine years and was cleared fit to fly.

Investigators said: "His approach was to modify the person rather than the aircraft." The pilot has since added a Velcro strip to attach the prosthetic adapter to the control column, providing extra security.

In February 2014, a similar incident occurred. A pilot lost control of a passenger plane after his artificial arm became detached as he was coming in to land, the BBC reported.

The Flybe flight from Birmingham, with 47 passengers on board, was approaching Belfast City Airport in gusty conditions. 

In a statement, Flybe said the senior captain was one of its "most experienced and trusted pilots", and the safety of passengers and crew had not been compromised in any way.

Daily Mail

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