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Pilot, 72, attempted to land on dual carriageway after mistaking it for runway

Pilot, 72, attempted to land on dual carriageway after mistaking it for runway

The elderly man had to pull up suddenly in order to avoid a major crash

A pilot in his 70s almost caused an accident after he confused a dual carriageway with an airport runway.

The aircraft was coming into land when the man almost touched down on the A1 close to Newcastle International Airport.

An investigation into the bizarre incident found that the 72-year-old was in the middle of his first solo flight when he mistook the major road for the runway on 9 January, 2022.

The man, who had just 233 hours of cockpit experience, was learning how to fly at night.

According to the investigation, the error occurred when the man 'lost sight of the runway [and] misidentified lights from the nearby A1 dual carriageway'.

The pilot's route.
AAIB

The inexperienced pilot then began to 'drift off course' and descend on the A1.

As he got closer, he eventually realised his mistake and began to pull his Reims Cessna Light Aircraft up.

Fortunately, with some help from air traffic control, the man managed to land the plane safely.

Despite his error, though, the man was allowed to carry on with his training after undergoing a 'debrief and a long ground brief on Newcastle features and radio procedures'.

The incident was later labelled 'serious' by the Air Accident Investigation Branch.

The investigation stated that the incident highlighted the 'increased risk from distraction...in situations where external visual cues are reduced'.

No other passengers or crew were travelling onboard with the pilot at the time, and luckily no one was injured.

Earlier this month, a pilot had to eject from a fighter jet after it nosedived on the tarmac.

The pilot had to eject.
Kitt Wilder

The F-35B was landing in Fort Worth, Texas, when things took a turn for the worse and the pilot resorted to drastic measures.

Footage shows the aircraft descending before tipping on to its nose as smoke billows from it.

It then spirals out of control and the pilot can be seen ejecting, launching through the air before floating down to the ground with a parachute.

The Pentagon said the aircraft was being flown at the time of the crash by a US government pilot.

Following the crash, Lockheed Martin - the company that manufactures the plane - said the incident would be fully investigated.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: UK News