View Full Version : rescue at 14,000 ft.

11-08-2008, 10:40 AM
65yr old pilot has stroke and RAF pilot comes to his aid


Obeying orders to turn left or right and adjust his height and speed, it took seven attempts for Mr O'Neill, who runs a travel and conference booking agency, to manoeuvre his aircraft into the correct position, while a senior RAF instructor flew alongside him at a distance of just 150ft away.

Wing Commander Paul Gerrard, 42, was on a routine training sortie in a Tucano T1 turboprop plane when he received the order to come to the businessman's aid. "For me, I was just glad to help a fellow aviator in distress," said W/Cdr Gerrard. "I was just part of a team. Landing an aircraft literally blind needs someone to be right there to say 'Left a bit, right a bit, stop, down'. On the crucial final approach, even with radar assistance you need to take over visually. That's why having a fellow pilot there was so important."