Airline tightens safety after pilot’s arm comes off

Pilot lost control when artificial arm became detached

Regional airline Flybe has put into action additional safety checks after one of its pilots lost control of a passenger aircraft when his artificial arm became detached.

The incident happened during a landing in Belfast in strong winds, on a flight from Birmingham back in February with 47 passengers on board.

A report by the UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch said the captain was flying the aircraft manually, but as he made the final manoeuvre “his prosthetic limb became detached from the yoke clamp, depriving him of control of the aircraft”.

According to the report, although the pilot considered asking his co-pilot to take control, he decided that because of time pressure and the challenging conditions, he moved his right hand from the power levers on to the yoke to regain control.

“He did this, but with power still applied and possibly a gust affecting the aircraft, a normal touchdown was followed by a bounce, from which the aircraft landed heavily,” the report said.

The captain said he would be more cautious about checking his prosthetic lower left arm in future.


[pictured: Flybe Bombardier Q400 (Eco livery), courtesy Flybe]