In Depth

Near miss: plane almost lands on sunbather - video

A sunbather had a narrow escape when a light aircraft missed him by a matter of inches

A sunbather in northern Germany had a narrow escape when a light aircraft came within inches of landing on top of him.

Video obtained by the German tabloid Bild shows the Piper PA-28 aircraft coming in short of the runway, passing directly over the sunbather and clipping a fence before touching down on the landing strip.

The incident happened on Dune, a small island off the coast of Heligoland. No one was injured and the aircraft suffered only minor damage.

The pilot, Juergen Drucker, apologised and acknowledged that "it wasn't one of my greatest achievements in the cockpit". 

According to a witness, the unknown sunbather saved himself by taking evasive action at the last minute.

"The man who was almost hit was lying down and he turned over to look after seeing the plane coming and then instantly flung himself down in the sand as it crossed over him," said Uwe Kaiser, quoted in the Daily Telegraph. "It really was a close shave."

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