The video captured of a plane almost landing on a sunbather at the beach is unbelievable. There looked to be about an inch of clearance between the man's back and the plane's landing gear wheels. This video has gone viral today for the obvious reason that it is one of the most astonishing near-misses ever recorded on tape.
As you can see in the video above, the man is completely oblivious that there is a plane about to scratch his back until he looks over his shoulder. According to Action News 13 on June 3, the plane was coming in for a landing on a beach off the German island of Dune. If the man had sat up it would have been more like the German island of doom for this guy, as the wheels would have hit him in the head.
As the Sidney Mourning Herald points out today, the man is seen looking over his shoulder in the video then he appears to duck his head down realizing he is about to get hit, but thankfully it was only a very close call.
The small aircraft was piloted by Juergen Drucker, 52, who said that he had absolutely no idea that the guy sunbathing was there. "In my defense I can say that I didn't see him because he was laying down," said Drucker to the media.
The plane hit a fence just seconds after just clearing the sunbather on the beach. Drucker was trying to land his Piper PA-28-181 Archer II at Heligoland Airport when he almost shaved the sunbather's back. He wasn't having a good day apparently because after hitting the fence he plowed across a section of the beach before coming to a rest.
No one was hurt in this bizarre, heart-stopping incident. Drucker got a look at the video and was amazed at what he did. He said that "I have to say, as the picture shows, that it wasn't one of my greatest achievements in the cockpit." That would depend on how you look at it. It appeared as if there was not so much of an inch play between the guy on the beach and the plane's wheels and the guy is fine, with not so much as a scratch.
While it might not have been one of his greatest moments, it certainly was one of the sunbather's luckiest! Smacking into the fence did cause the plane some minor damage, but it was fixed the same day. Drucker was able to fly his plane home that same evening after getting the minor repairs done.
The unidentified sunbather didn't say a thing, but quickly moved to the other side of the beach after this happened. The beach is in front of a landing strip, but the planes don't usually come in that low.
The man who took the video, Rainer Schmidt, said that he was there watching the planes landing and taking video clips of the planes. He had watched five planes land before Drucker came in and Schmidt realized that this plane was way too low. The plane enthusiast got himself a video of a lifetime by capturing this near-miss on tape!