Pilot's false arm fell off during landing at Belfast City

Credit: PA Images

A captain lost control of a passenger plane after his artificial arm became detached as he was coming in to land, an accident report has said.

The detachment, on a Flybe flight from Birmingham, came as the Dash 8 aircraft, with 47 passengers on board, was approaching Belfast City Airport in gusty conditions.

Shortly before, the 46-year-old pilot had checked that his prosthetic lower left arm was securely attached to the yoke clamp which he used to fly the aircraft, with the latching device in place.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) report said the captain had disconnected the autopilot and was flying the aircraft manually.

It said that as he made the flare manoeuvre - a stage of the landing shortly before touchdown - "his prosthetic limb became detached from the yoke clamp, depriving him of control of the aircraft".

The captain considered getting the co-pilot to take control but concluded that, given the time available and the challenging conditions, his best course of action was to move his right hand from the power levers on to the yoke to regain control.

The report went on: "He did this, but with power still applied and possibly a gust affecting the aircraft, a normal touchdown was followed by a bounce, from which the aircraft landed heavily."

No-one was hurt and the plane was not damaged in the incident on the evening of February 12 this year.