Extremely Close Call As Plane Nearly Runs Over Sunbather

The runway for the Helgoland airport off the coast of northern Germany runs right up to the beach. Here's what happens when a plane comes in for a landing a little bit too low.

No one was injured in this close call, as German paper Bild reports.

Here's what that runway looks like, courtesy of Google Earth.


The man at the helm of the 180 horsepower Piper, a 52-year-old engineer and hobby pilot, apologized for the incident.

Yes, that was me. I'm very sorry, that wasn't exactly a feat of flying. I couldn't see the man on the beach. I'm damn happy that nothing happened to him. More than that I don't want to say. I fear that there will be proceedings from the Federal Aviation Office.

Ja, das war ich. Es tut mir sehr leid, das war keine fliegerische Glanzleistung. Den Mann am Strand konnte ich beim Landen nicht sehen. Ich bin aber heilfroh, dass ihm nichts passiert ist. Mehr möchte ich dazu nicht sagen. Ich fürchte, mir droht ein Verfahren des Luftfahrtbundesamtes.

The Piper PA-28-181 Archer II took a bit of fence with it as it lands, and is currently being repaired at the Essen airport.

The sunbather should be commended by his skills for lying "flat as a flounder," as Bild so eloquently put it.

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