Plane narrowly misses sunbaker
A man enjoying the sunshine on a German beach had a near miss when a light aircraft almost landed on top of him as it approached a runway.PT0M57S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-39fzg 620 349 June 3, 2014
A man sunbathing on a German beach will be reconsidering his choice of location next time after a plane almost landed on top of him as it was approaching the neighbouring runway.
A video filmed by a fellow sunbather shows a small Piper PA-28-181 Archer 11 flying dangerously close over the man as it flew in from the coast of Dune beach in Heligoland, a tiny archipelago in northern Germany.
In the video, the man appears to look over his shoulder as the plane approaches before flinging his head down as the aircraft passes over him.
The back wheels of the plane appear to miss the man by centimetres.
Rainer Schmidt, who shot the video, said he watched five other planes land on the beachside airstrip before the incident.
"I instantly realised that this one was coming in to land far too low,” Schmidt told the UK Telegraph.
"The others were at least six metres high. It was so close to the man on the beach. The man was very lucky."
The pilot Juergen Drucker, 52, has apologised for his careless flying and said he misjudged the landing.
"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,” he said.
Drucker told the Metro: “‘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.”
The sunbather appeared to be unscathed and walked off after the close-call to find a safer spot to recover.
The plane was also in fine condition and Drucker was able to fly home the same evening.