A passenger jet, which was destined for City of Derry Airport, landed by mistake at an Army base six miles away. The Eirjet aircraft was flying on behalf of Ryanair from Liverpool to Londonderry when the pilot set it down at Ballykelly airstrip just after lunchtime.
Ryanair said it was due to an "error by the Eirjet pilot who mistakenly believed he was on a visual approach to City of Derry airport. The incident involved the aircraft landing at a runway which is exactly in line with the main runway at City of Derry Airport".
Once the brakes were applied and the aircraft came to a halt, the pilot announced: "We may have arrived at the wrong airport". Laughter broke out in the cabin and soon the aircraft was surrounded by British soldiers, some taking photographs. 39 startled passengers were then taken by coach from Ballykelly to Derry.
Now, although I laughed at the time, this story is quite believable. Despite the aircraft being fitted with up-to-date navigation and positioning equipment, 2 separate runways, both running in the same direction a mere 6 miles away, can easily be confused once on approach. Once you have visual contact with the ground and your intended runway, pilots tend to ignore flight instruments flashing and whirring in front of them. I can only assume that the pilot thought that is instrumentation was a bit off kilter.
On thing confuses me … the airstrip at Ballykelly is primarily used by Army helicopters and light aircraft. But it was built for huge military planes, making it one of the longest on the island. The report goes on to say that 'it is not yet clear how the plane will be removed from the Army base'.
Err, like the way it came in?
Paul And Ian Go Large ...
Two burglars who beat a man to death as they hunted for the £50,000 they heard he had inherited, have been jailed for life.
Drug addicts Paul O'Shea, 27, and Ian Noonan, 40, of no fixed address, tied Julian De Graft Hayford up in his flat in Kennington, south London, last July. The Old Bailey heard the pair, who wanted the cash for drugs, attacked him with a carved statue of an angel.
Noonan must serve at least 30 years and O'Shea was given a minimum of 28 years for 55-year-old Mr Hayford's murder. Mr Hayford had been left £50,000 from his father's estate and had bought a new car, a flat and other luxury items.
Police said they understood he planned to use the majority of the money to rebuild a church in his native Ghana.
Mr Hayford had been out celebrating his 55th birthday on the night O'Shea and Noonan (pictured left) targeted his home. They tied him up with his own neck tie and beat him so severely that he suffered ten different injuries to his head. He died from brain damage. The attackers fled when they were disturbed by Mr Hayford's wife, Happy.
Hang on a mo, if the report is to be believed, how can someone with 50k buy a new car, a flat (in London) and still use the majority of the money to rebuild a church?
Well, our two Mensa candidates will never find out. Enjoy prison life chaps ...
We're NOT Americans …
Linda West, 49, denies she murdered her husband, Gregory West, 45, at their flat in Southampton, UK, in May 2005.
On Thursday 30th March, the judge, Mr Justice Cresswell, began summing up the case. In the witness box, Mrs West said that after a night out with hubby (necking wine) she had picked up the gun and began dancing to the Shania Twain song "Man! I Feel Like A Woman".
She claims that when she put the gun down, it went off, filling hubby with lead. Police found Mr West in a dressing gown slumped in an armchair and his wife covered in blood.
Experts told the jury the gun's safety catch was faulty and that when it was dropped it could go off.
The prosecution allege that the couple, who had been married only ten weeks, had argued and Mrs West got the gun and shot her husband deliberately.
… and this happened in the UK? Just when we thought that the Americans had cornered the market in stupidity …