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Plane barely misses sunbather while landing

Pilot’s approach was far too low on German island of Dune in Heligoland archipelago; 'It wasn't one of my greatest achievements in the cockpit'

close call

Small plane nearly hits a sunbather as its approach is far too low on the German island of Dune. Screen grab from video

A sunbather on a small island off Germany picked a poor spot to catch some rays, and a pilot of a small plane picked a poor time to misjudge his landing.

The two errors in judgment nearly resulted in a catastrophe as the small plane just barely missed hitting the man lying on the beach on the island of Dune in the Heligoland archipelago.

“It was me that was flying and I am really sorry,” pilot Juergen Drucker, 52, told the MailOnline on Monday. “I have to say, as the pictures show, that it wasn’t one of my greatest achievements in the cockpit.”

Uh, no, it wasn’t. Beachgoer Rainer Schmidt, 52, caught the embarrassing and near-tragic moment on video. Watch (German commentary is from Bild.TV):

“I was watching the planes come in to land,” Schmidt told MailOnline. “I had seen five planes land before this one came in. I instantly realized that this one was coming in to land far too low. The others were at least [20 feet] high. It was so close to the man on the beach. The man was very lucky.”

The fence near the airstrip wasn’t as lucky. The plane hit the fence, though it didn’t cause much damage.

Uwe Kaiser, another beachgoer, said that because the proximity of the landing field is so close, not many people pick that part of the beach to sunbathe. Kaiser described what he saw to MailOnline:

“The man who was almost hit was lying down and he turned over to look after seeing the plane coming and then instantly flung himself down in the sand as it crossed over him. It really was a close shave.”

The airport on Dune has three short runways, with the shortest being only 846 feet. Landings and takeoffs are said to be demanding and require experience.

“In my defense I can say that I didn’t see him because he was lying down, and I’m just very grateful it worked out well and I didn’t land on him,” Drucker said.

As for the man who was nearly struck? He smartly got up and relocated.

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