A pilot had a lucky escape when his plane had a mid-air collision with a huge bird of prey, forcing him into a dramatic landing Qualified pilot Simon Edwards was undergoing mandatory training, under the supervision of instructor Ian Weston, when the buzzard crashed into the single-engined aircraft at Linley Hill Airfield near Beverley, East Yorkshire, yesterday.
Weston explained: "It all happened in a nanosecond. We felt a rush of air, saw a load of feathers and bits of broken Perspex, looked up and saw a big hole. The buzzard had smashed through the Perspex and landed on the parcel shelf behind us."
The pilots put in a mayday call to the Hull Aero Club. But Edwards who has held a private pilot's licence for two years, was praised for calmly completing the landing. Staff at the club later recovered the bird carcass from the cockpit. John Preston, the club duty manager said: "It's a lovely old bird. It must have a wing span of 3ft. "It's a sad occurrence, but there was nothing either of the pilots could have done to prevent it." He added: "The pilots are lucky."
Published in the Mirror by Elle Griffiths