An ex-RAF Pilot resurrected his flying career in unexpected fashion, when the Victor Bomber he was taxi-ing down the Runway took off after an error at an airshow at Bruntingthorpe airfield in Leicestershire.
The 75 ton Victor lifted off the tarmac after his co-pilot misunderstood his command to ease the throttle, and instead slammed it down, sending it 150ft into the air. After veering towards the watching crowd and a nearby housing estate, retired Squadron Leader Bob Prothero managed to bring it down on one wheel, but unharmed, on the grass at the end of the runway.
Bob, from Portsmouth, who last flew a Victor in the 1980’s, described it as ‘the most terrifying nine seconds of my life’.
The Cold War Victor was built by Handley Page. A counterpart of the moe famous Vulcan Bomber, the Victor fleet was later converted to an airborne tanker role.
The Civil Aviation Authority later blamed the un-named amateur co-pilot, who ‘froze’ at a time of high tension, but has ruled out taking any legal action.