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

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

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Mike Williams 7
It looks like he might have struck the prop on the fence post also. That was a bad approach.
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 4
True, but the dude completely missed the runway.
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 3
I don't dispute that. But the the guy laying out on the beach doesn't need a license to do that.
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:

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)
Torsten Hoff 1
Turns out they have traffic lights as well to warn pedestrians of approaching aircraft:
AWAAlum 1
Maybe they were having a "Wayne's World Moment".
Torsten Hoff 1
It looks like the video is from Runway 33, the primary runway at Helgoland due to the prevailing winds. The length is 1575 feet.,7.9162772,1470m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x47b5b5f6bcbddf37:0x4248963c6580400
ra ko 1
No its runway 21. The length is 1217 feet.
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.
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:
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.
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 !!
James Carlson 2
Here's another. Complete with inane banter.
tim mitchell 2
yep he def. took out a fence post
Brian Bishop 2
Yep, fence post went flying!
CaptainFreedom 2
Did he check his back for tread marks? He might have prevented the plane from undershooting the runway.
joel wiley 1
Finally, a use for them tourists!

[This poster has been suspended.]

tim mitchell 2
he actually rolled over and covered his head
john cook 1
It's been Blocked!!!
Pa Thomas 1
"Ridiculously close" "was saved by this one simple trick"
oowmmr 1
I'm gonna hit the numbers!!!

[This poster has been suspended.]

John Miller 1
Terrain. Terrain.

Every time I hear anyone say "terrain" I hear the computer voice in my head!
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.
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.
Stephen Morgan 1
Someone please repost a working link to the video when it resurfaces! I've got to see it again!
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!!
Graham Bentley 1
Not playable. This video contains content from Top Channel, who has blocked it on copyright grounds
Stewart Smith 1
Can't see it:

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

Sorry about that.
Rob Hendriks 1

Deze video bevat inhoud van Top Channel, die deze wegens auteursrechtschending heeft geblokkeerd.
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.....
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.
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.
MrTommy 1
Now we can't access the video - Grrrrrr.
lynx318 1
The link I put below to the website is the original, it works fine.
kevin gillespie 1
Cannot view the video. It has being blocked to copyright.
AWAAlum 1
Check further down this page - there are several postings of working links.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
ra ko 1
The number is at the beginning of the LDA and this is international standard.
Sal Milano 1
The beach should have been a restricted danger area. Fault lies with local government, aviation authority, pilot and beach goers
Jeffrey Bue 1
Looks like the video's been yanked from YOUTUBE.
Jack M 1
Can't view it
Jack M 1
Thank you!!


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