EXCLUSIVE VIDEO - pilot lands a plane on the beach at Jacob’s Ladder when the engine fails
PUBLISHED: 09:09 06 May 2018 | UPDATED: 09:29 14 May 2018
Picture: Simon Horn
Photographer Simon Horn, from Sidmouth, was kayaking nearby with his family when he spotted the stricken aircraft circling overhead and filmed the emergency landing on Jacobs Ladder beach
This video captures the moment a pilot was forced to make an emergency landing on Jacob’s Ladder beach when the light aircraft’s engine failed.
Photographer Simon Horn, from Sidmouth, was kayaking nearby with his family when he spotted the stricken aircraft circling overhead and began filming.
His video shows the pilot skilfully landing on the beach when the plane’s engine lost power, and people nearby running to safety.
Beer Coastguard said pilot Zac Rocky showed ‘great skill’ landing the aircraft on an area of beach deemed ‘less populated’.
Speaking shortly after the emergency landing, Mr Rocky, who earlier had been demonstrating the light aircraft to a prospective buyer, said: “We were flying along the coast taking in the beautiful scenery of the Jurassic coast.
“The engine had some issues. It began to lose power, it faded.
“I cycled a few options in the cockpit to no avail and at that point you have to choose somewhere to come down.
“The land option inland was unavailable; I could have made it but it looked unpleasant. The scenery around here is not a nice place to land something like that and also you need to be around somebody; you need to be near somebody who can help you once you’re down if there’s an issue.
“Who knows what could have happened when it landed; it could have flipped on the stones.”
He added: “You try and get close to a road, a dwelling or somebody if you’re going to put down; that’s an option.
“I have had better runways. It’s not ideal.”
Beer Coastguard and the emergency services were called to the beach shortly before 5.30pm on Saturday afternoon.
The pilot and his passenger, and those nearby on the beach when the aircraft landed, were uninjured.
Because of its location, the stricken aircraft will be dismantled and transported by road back to its airfield.
A Beer Coastguard spokesperson said: “We were tasked to a light aircraft which had made an emergency landing on Jacobs Ladder beach at Sidmouth.
“Coastguard rescue officers arrived on scene and quickly established that no persons on the beach were injured and the two occupants of the aircraft where uninjured.
“The pilot made the emergency landing after the engine developed a fault.
“He showed great skill in landing on an area of the beach which was less populated than the area nearer to Jacobs Ladder.”
The spokesperson added: “The police and coastguard officers discussed the options for the removal of the aircraft from the beach with the pilot and mechanics who arrived on scene.
“It was decided the plane would be towed to the bottom of the driveway where it would be dismantled and then transported by road back to the airfield.”
MORE: Laura Thompson sent us her photos from the scene via our photo-sharing website - iwitness24. If you have any photos you would like to share with the Herald then go to www.iwitness24.co.uk and upload them to the East Devon channel.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Midweek Herald. Click the link in the orange box above for details.