Would you consider including sheep in a list of the world’s strongest animals? I’m guessing not… although after reading this story, you might want to reconsider that decision!
According to a new report by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch, a 71-year-old pilot was forced to make an emergency landing in Wales, after the engine of his light aircraft cut-out.
With almost 1,500 hours of flying experience, Bernard Ridgway really had to use his vast experience to land the plane in a nearby field, which was packed with sheep at the time.
Unfortunately, despite the elderly pilot’s best attempts, the right wing of his 1964-built Jodel plane actually hit one of the poor sheep. In most cases, that would prove fatal. However, miraculously… and I find it hard to believe… the accident report stated that “the animal did not appear to have been injured”.
Thankfully Bernard and his passenger, who intended to land at Rhigos Airfield in Powys, were fine too. The right wing of the aircraft, on the other hand, WAS damaged after its collision with the sheep and needed repair.
Using a combination of towing and taxiing under its own power, the aircraft was brought back onto the airfield after the incident, which happened on April 6.
“This kind of thing doesn’t happen very often though, as what we do is usually quite safe. We have the odd bit of damage but what happened with the sheep is very unusual,” commented Keith Richards, a friend of Bernard’s who fixed the wing. “They’re quite tough I think.”
Talk about an understatement, I would say the sheep are really tough!