Pilot Lost Control After Prosthetic Arm Detached

 - August 18, 2014, 11:30 AM

The pilot flying a Bombardier Dash 8-400 lost control of the aircraft on Feb. 12, 2014 during the landing flare at Belfast City Airport after his prosthetic arm became detached during the maneuver. With insufficient time to put his arm back in place, the captain with UK regional airline Flybe removed his right hand from the power levers to control the yoke. Some engine power therefore remained applied during the flare, resulting in a bounce and a hard landing. No one on board the twin turboprop was injured.

The pilot said that trying to transfer control of the airplane to the first officer at that critical point in the flare would have been more dangerous than the action he chose.

He told the UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch that before beginning the approach he had checked to be certain his prosthetic was locked in place, but added that in the future he would check the locking mechanism more carefully. He also pledged to brief his first officers about his arm so that they are better prepared to assume control at any point in the flight.