A German sunbather and a pilot had the scare of their lives when they got a little too close for comfort during a misjudged landing at an island airstrip in Germany.
The amazing video obtained by Germany's Bild TV comes from a man who was filming various planes land on the tiny airstrip on the northeastern corner of Dune, a vacation island off Heligoland in the North Sea. He says he immediately knew that the Piper Archer II was coming in too low.
The man appears to see the plane approaching at the last second and tucks his head. The plane passes just two to three feet over the man and plows through a light fence about 10 feet behind the man.
The pilot, Juergen Drucker, 52, says he did not see the man because he was lying down, but conceded that he came in extremely low.
“In my defence I can say that I didn't see him because he was lying down and I'm just very grateful it worked out well and I didn't land on him,” the Daily Mail quotes him saying. “I don't want to say any more than that. I fear I will be in for a fine from the Federal Aviation Office but I hope I will be able to keep my licence.”
Dune has one other landing strip with a similarly perilous approach. Together they take up about half of the area of the island.
This video shows how close even a properly landed plane gets to the beach area.
The plane was damaged by the collision with the fence but Drucker was able to repair it and fly from the island later that day.