Allan Hall, Berlin
September 1, 2009 – 12:00AM
A DRUNK amateur pilot had to be guided to land by a rescue helicopter after he radioed the control tower of his airfield to ask: ”Where the bloody hell have you hidden yourself?”
The 65-year-old drank a large quantity of beer and wine before flying over the central German state of Thuringia in his Cessna light aircraft on Saturday.
Once airborne, he continued to drink while at the controls. Two hours later he was happy but alcoholically challenged – so much so he was unable to read the instruments telling him where the Schoengleida airfield was.
”Come on, I know you’re down there,” he radioed. ”Where the bloody hell have you hidden yourself?”
Control tower staff say he also sang a few songs, cracked a mother-in-law joke and told them to ”pull their fingers out as I’ve got a party to go to”.
Fearing instrument failure, the tower scrambled a rescue helicopter, which homed in on the man in clear-blue skies west of the airport, and gave instructions for the pilot to follow it back.
Officials at Schoengleida said the pilot, who has not been named, managed to make a safe landing.
”But when the helicopter pilot went over to see him, that was when he got the full force of the alcohol fumes in his face,” a spokesman said.
The man wobbled from the cockpit to his car. Airfield authorities alerted police.
He was stopped on the way home, breathalysed, and found to be nearly four times over the legal limit for driving.
Now he has lost his pilot’s licence – and his driving licence.
From The Age.