Blind pilot guided to land by RAF

By | November 9, 2008

_45185045_70bdbd31-5d67-489d-8125-e7416b620e5cA pilot who suddenly went blind while flying his plane at 5,500ft (1,676m) was guided in to land by an RAF plane.

A plane was scrambled from the RAF base at Linton-on-Ouse in North Yorkshire to help stricken pilot Jim O’Neill, 65.

He was flying a two-seater Cessna aircraft from Glasgow Prestwick Airport to Colchester, Essex, when he suffered a stroke and lost his sight.

The RAF plane flew alongside Mr O’Neill and the pilot shepherded him to the base with instructions over the radio.

Mr O’Neill, who has 18 years’ flying experience, was overhead at RAF Leeming in Northallerton when he encountered difficulty and sent a mayday alert last Friday.

Operations commanding officer at RAF Linton-on-Ouse, Wing Cdr Andy Hynd, said: “At first he believed he was being blinded by sunlight because he had difficulty seeing his instruments and so he declared an emergency. … – link

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