Pilot Says Sorry after Narrowly Avoiding Sunbather in Beach Crash Landing

A sunbather was shocked when an aeroplane landed nearby.

A sunbather in Germany remained speechless when a light aeroplane almost landed on him as he was stretched out on the sand enjoying the weather. Photo: Metro

A sunbather in Germany remained speechless when a light aeroplane almost landed on him as he was stretched out on the sand enjoying the weather. Photo: Metro

A man who was taking sun bathes streched on the sand somewhere in northern Germany was extra lucky to escape when an aircraft came in to land almost right on top of him.

Video footage obtained by a German magazine unveils the small plane, a Piper PA-28-181 Archer II, coming in to land on the airstrip at Dune – a touristic islet off Heligoland.

The Telegraph writes: “The pilot descended towards the airstrip, but got increasingly close to the white sands – and the man lying face down beneath him.”

“I was watching the planes come into land,” said Rainer Schmidt, 52, who shot the video. “I had seen five planes land before this one came in. I instantly realised that this one was coming in to land far too low.

“The others were at least six metres high. It was so close to the man on the beach. The man was very lucky.”

Another person, who was enjoing sun nearby, Uwe Kaiser, said: “Because the landing field is nearby not many people settle here so there is plenty of open beach, but it’s a bit noisy. The man who was almost hit was lying down and he turned over to look after seeing the plane coming and then instantly flung himself down in the sand as it crossed over him. It really was a close shave.”

The pilot, Juergen Drucker, 52, admitted that he misjudged the situation – but added that he had not noticed the man because he was lying down.

“In my defence I can say that I didn’t see him because he was lying down and I’m just very grateful it worked out well and I didn’t land on him. I don’t want to say any more than that. I fear I will be in for a fine from the Federal Aviation Office but I hope I will be able to keep my licence.”

“It was me that was flying and I am really sorry. I have to say, as the pictures show, that it wasn’t one of my greatest achievements in the cockpit.”

After the landing, the pilot was able to patch his plane up and fly home the same evening. The sunbather, however, decided to find a safer place to sunbathe, and was seen standing up and walking off.

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