When the instruments on Jim O'Neill's four-seater Cessna aircraft became difficult to read, he assumed it was the glare of the sunlight as he flew over north England at 15,000ft. It was only when the dials blurred completely that he realised the full horror of his predicament: he was a solo pilot who had suddenly gone blind.
Struggling with the aftermath of a mid-flight stroke – which had put pressure on his optical nerve and robbed him of his sight in one eye and left him with very limited sight in the other – Mr O'Neill found himself unable to follow instructions from civilian air trafficcontrollers attempting to guide him to the nearest airstrip. Instead, an extraordinary rescue was launched when RAF staff, overhearing the emergency, offered to send a military plane to fly alongside Mr O'Neill and shepherd him in to land, issuing instructions to him over the radio.
Pilot Lands After Going Blind
Via AMERICAblog comes the amazing story of a British pilot who went blind at 15,000 ft and was then talked down to a safe landing by the RAF: