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'No danger' when pilot's arm came off during landing.

Byline: Brett Gibbons Staff Reporter

AIRLINE Flybe has said no passengers were in any danger when a pilot lost control of a plane from Birmingham after his false arm became detached from a device used to land the aircraft.

An Air Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) report said the captain was flying the Dash 8 aircraft manually as he was approaching Belfast City Airport in gusty conditions in February this year.

However, the 46-yearold captain's artificial limb, which was fixed to an instrument used to fly the plane, came loose from its attachment as it was about to touch down, making the plane "bounce heavily on landing."

But Flybe has now responded by insisting that none of the 47 passengers or crew on board the aircraft was in any danger during the scare.

Capt Ian Baston, Flybe director of flight operations and safety, said the pilot was one of the airline's most experienced crew.

He said: "Flybe is proud to be an Equal Opportunities Employer. This, in common with most airlines, means we do employ staff with reduced physical abilities. Where appropriate, and in accordance with Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) requirements, this does include pilots.

"The senior captain referred to in this report is one of Flybe's most experienced and trusted pilots. The airline confirms that at no time was the safety of its passengers or crew compromised in any way, nor was the aircraft damaged."

He said Flybe immediately instigated a full investigation and additional safety checks following the incident.

Capt Baston said Flybe exceeded safety guidelines on its aircraft and a similar incident could not reoccur.

He added: "The safety of our passengers and crew is our number one priority. 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.

"Flybe understands that the AAIB is to review this report to more clearly contextualise certain issues referred to in its findings."

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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Aug 15, 2014
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