Sunday, July 21, 2013

It’s a miracle! Aircraft collides with sheep during emergency landing. Aircraft is damaged, sheep is fine!

Call it a miracle, but a Welsh sheep was knocked by a light aircraft and survivedWould you consider including sheep in a list of the world’s strongest animals? I’m guessing not… although after reading this story, you might want to reconsider that decision!

According to a new report by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch, a 71-year-old pilot was forced to make an emergency landing in Wales, after the engine of his light aircraft cut-out.

With almost 1,500 hours of flying experience, Bernard Ridgway really had to use his vast experience to land the plane in a nearby field, which was packed with sheep at the time.

Unfortunately, despite the elderly pilot’s best attempts, the right wing of his 1964-built Jodel plane actually hit one of the poor sheep. In most cases, that would prove fatal. However, miraculously… and I find it hard to believe… the accident report stated that “the animal did not appear to have been injured”.

Thankfully Bernard and his passenger, who intended to land at Rhigos Airfield in Powys, were fine too. The right wing of the aircraft, on the other hand, WAS damaged after its collision with the sheep and needed repair.

Using a combination of towing and taxiing under its own power, the aircraft was brought back onto the airfield after the incident, which happened on April 6.

“This kind of thing doesn’t happen very often though, as what we do is usually quite safe. We have the odd bit of damage but what happened with the sheep is very unusual,” commented Keith Richards, a friend of Bernard’s who fixed the wing. “They’re quite tough I think.”

Talk about an understatement, I would say the sheep are really tough! What are your thoughts on the story? As always, feel free to leave your comment below, and sign-up to The Aviation Writer’s FREE newsletter for more aviation stories, photos and videos. Click here to subscribe.

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14 comments :

  1. Wow, poor sheep.

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    Replies
    1. Poor Plane!

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    2. The sheep has feelings too!

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    3. Planes have feelings too :(

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  2. Cruel Bertie, Planes too!

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  3. Are you trying to pull the wool over our eyes with this story? Or hoping to fleece us?

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  4. The pilot must have been baa -my not to have seen the sheep. I guess though, ewe never can be too careful !

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  5. It reminds me of a small incident I experienced during primary flight training in Arizona. I was flying a C172 and on short final spotted an animal on the runway. I advised the tower that I was going around as "there is a dog on the runway". The controller came back saying "that is not a dog, it is a hyena". I replied "I'm a pilot, not a biologist". We both had a good laugh and he promised to get a guy out to fire some shots to chase the animal away.

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  6. Sunil Zephaniah KanaparthiJuly 23, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    Great! I still remember my senior colleagues telling me that once when a Caravelle aircraft was taking off on a schedule flight from Vadodara (BDQ-Gujarat State/India) a buffalo was taking a stroll on the runway. Eventually at V2 the Commander had took take off with the buffalo and eventually the aircraft landed back at Vadodara without any damage either to the aircraft or to the buffalo.

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  7. Now that's what I call a baaaahh, baaaahhh , baaaaaaahd landing!

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  8. It's the wool! Great marketing idea for the textile industry!

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  9. Simon Maximilian FellmannJuly 27, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    Good thing all are safe...even the plane!

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  10. Caleb Kam Ming TaiJuly 27, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    Nice Article!

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