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Squawks & HeadlinesThis Plane Came Ridiculously Close To Landing On Top Of A Sunbather

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This Plane Came Ridiculously Close To Landing On Top Of A Sunbather

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This is the incredible moment a plane came within inches of landing on a man sunbathing on a beach in Germany. (www.youtube.com) More...

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mwilliams78
mwilliams78 7
It looks like he might have struck the prop on the fence post also. That was a bad approach.
TorstenHoff
Torsten Hoff 5
I've been to Helgoland (the German spelling) and its airport a number of times, the runways are short and primitive.

What the sunbather was doing where he is at, I do not know. People need to have some common sense and personal responsibility.
btweston
btweston 4
True, but the dude completely missed the runway.
TorstenHoff
Torsten Hoff 2
He came up 30 feet or so short of the runway threshold. An extra three feet of elevation would have allowed him to clear the fence.

Granted, the pilot screwed up and shouldn't have been that low, but there are signs there warning pedestrians about the dangers of landing and departing aircraft, and they are there for a reason. Sunbathing just feet from an active runway threshold is foolish at best.
btweston
btweston 3
I don't dispute that. But the the guy laying out on the beach doesn't need a license to do that.
TorstenHoff
Torsten Hoff 3
True. But standing (not actually sunbathing) in the short final for the runway is extraordinarily stupid, and he is doing it despite having been warned of the risk of serious injury or death. I found a picture of the sign on Google Earth:

http://static.panoramio.com/photos/original/73862191.jpg

I can make out the first three lines:

ACHTUNG! (I'm pretty sure I don't need to translate that)
Tieffliegende Flugzeuge (Low-flying airplanes)
LEBENSGEFAHR (Risk of death)
TorstenHoff
Torsten Hoff 1
Turns out they have traffic lights as well to warn pedestrians of approaching aircraft:

http://static.panoramio.com/photos/original/29249654.jpg
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
Maybe they were having a "Wayne's World Moment".
TorstenHoff
Torsten Hoff 1
kaxvlieger
Erik Moen 1
Well the warning signs are everywhere. So the guy shouldn't be standing where he was. But the pilot is definitely way too low and slow for RWY 21, dragging his plane in just over the beach. Been there many times in an Archer 2 and everytime somebody has to stand in the extended centerline to watch incoming or outgoing traffic. The followimg link shows the situation:
http://www.flughafen-helgoland.de/helgoland-duene-edxh-karten-flugplatzkarte.html
rakoe
ra ko 1
No its runway 21. The length is 1217 feet.
mskierki
mskierki 1
Not that it matters, but the pilot is landing on Rwy 21. You can see the control tower in the background at the end of the clip. The guy was way low, that end of the runway has a displaced threshold, probably because of the beach.
andy18699
Andrew Prakken 3
Clicking on the youtube Link above does not show any video. Something due to ownership or Copyright laws. Click on this link, altho it may not be the same as above, but it show a plane coming in incredibly close to a sunbather. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-e2ZQLwEI4
N5DW
N5DW 3
No matter what you say about the pilot, airport policies, warning signage, etc -
the sunbather was definitely a candidate for the Darwin Award. Had he lost his head, or whatever, he would have cinched that award !!
carlsonj
James Carlson 2
Here's another. Complete with inane banter.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-e2ZQLwEI4
onceastudentpilot
tim mitchell 2
yep he def. took out a fence post
CaptainFreedom
CaptainFreedom 2
Did he check his back for tread marks? He might have prevented the plane from undershooting the runway.
bishops90
Brian Bishop 2
Yep, fence post went flying!
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
Finally, a use for them tourists!

[This poster has been suspended.]

onceastudentpilot
tim mitchell 2
he actually rolled over and covered his head
MrTommy
MrTommy 1
Now we can't access the video - Grrrrrr.
buzzard767
Buzz Schranz 1
Crapping flying on the part of the pilot in the video not withstanding, what was the idiot doing laying in the flight path??????

I've made a couple hundred landings and take offs at SXM in 757's. The idiots down on the beach do everything they can to get blown away.....
kevgza
Cannot view the video. It has being blocked to copyright.
N512C
dave garcia 1
Talk about up close and personal!! Bet that sunbather will be a smidgen to the left or right of the runway next time. That pilots got some splainin to do!!
johncook1
john cook 1
It's been Blocked!!!
mariescreations
Jerry Rader 1
Landing short loses in a spot landing contest. This guy lost!
If he had hit that sunbather and the sunbather survived, the ownership of that airplane would have probably changed hands.
pthomas745
Pa Thomas 1
"Ridiculously close" "was saved by this one simple trick"
oowmmr
oowmmr 1
I'm gonna hit the numbers!!!
sking100
sking100 1
And WHY exactly is there an airport on this spit of land with no vehicle access? Looks like an old training base for military from WWII.
usad
Stephen Morgan 1
Someone please repost a working link to the video when it resurfaces! I've got to see it again!
jmcke
Jack M 1
Can't view it
Bernie20910
Bernie Behling 1
He wasn't sunbathing there; he was just walking past. (No towel, blanket, chair, nothing at all around him.None of the things a sunbather would have with them.) And looking at it frame by frame I'm pretty sure it was the right gear that took out the fencepost, but he caught the wire with the prop.
7802mark
Mark Holm 1
Looking at the Google aerial photo, the offset runway markings are not terribly prominent, and the numbers are at the beginning of the offset portion, not at the beginning of the landing portion, just beyond the threshold, where they most commonly are placed. Apparently this is a legal way to do the markings, but, as in so many things in aviation, doing things more than one way invites mistakes.
Joyschtik
Sal Milano 1
The beach should have been a restricted danger area. Fault lies with local government, aviation authority, pilot and beach goers
bentleg
Graham Bentley 1
Not playable. This video contains content from Top Channel, who has blocked it on copyright grounds
ssmith3104
Stewart Smith 1
Can't see it:

This video contains content from Top Channel, who has blocked it on copyright grounds.

Sorry about that.
rfchendriks
Rob Hendriks 1
LINK KICKED COPURIGHT REASONS

Deze video bevat inhoud van Top Channel, die deze wegens auteursrechtschending heeft geblokkeerd.
harryhh
Harald Beyer 1
I have landed there myself. This airport holds some of the shortest runways in Germany if not the shortest of all. Obviously the plane was too low on final. To warn people on the beach there is a traffic light signaling inbound traffic to sunbathers. The island itself is a must see for those who manage to get there in one piece as it survived the largest manmade non-nuclear explosion after world war II that was meant to destruct the entire island.
bob2013
bob2013 1
I think it's more likely that the "sunbather" saw a plane coming and told his buddy to "watch this!" His buddy filmed and we end up with a story of some guy who just happened to be "sunbathing" in front of a runway.
imtxsmoke
Jeffrey Bue 1
Looks like the video's been yanked from YOUTUBE.
7802mark
Mark Holm 2
Looking briefly at the US and Canadian standards, having the numbers at the beginning of the offset portion instead of the landing portion is only approved for a temporary situation. The Heligoland 21 situation certainly looks like a permanent one. I don't know the German rules, but if they are harmonized with the US and Canadian, then the numbers are in the wrong place on this runway. That could certainly lead to pilot error.
onceastudentpilot
tim mitchell 2
if he had hit the guy the guy probably wouldn't have a head; plane ownership would have been the last of his concerns.

[This poster has been suspended.]

jmilleratp
John Miller 1
Terrain. Terrain.

Every time I hear anyone say "terrain" I hear the computer voice in my head!
rakoe
ra ko 1
The number is at the beginning of the LDA and this is international standard.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
Check further down this page - there are several postings of working links.
lynx318
lynx318 1
The link I put below to the Bild.tv website is the original, it works fine.
TorstenHoff
Torsten Hoff 1
Convenience. You can either take a boat or fly. There is a high-speed catamaran service from Hamburg that takes about four hours one way, a larger but slower ferry vessel takes twice as long. Flights take only 30 minutes.

Transfers from Düne (Dune) to the main island are by small motorboat. If you use one of the larger ferries, you still have to disembark into one of the motorboats since the ferries anchor in the bay. If you want to visit Helgoland for a day-trip, flying leaves you with much more time on the island to explore.
jmcke
Jack M 1
Thank you!!