02.01.2009

Blind pilot hopes to fly again

Blind pilot hopes to fly again

A pilot who suffered a stroke while flying at 15,000 feet and went mostly blind has pledged that he will fly again.

Jim O"Neill, 65, was assisted by the RAF after he issued a mayday call for help

Wing Commander Paul Gerrard scrambled an RAF Tucano T1 to guide him to a safe landing.

He had taken off from Prestwick airport and was heading to Essex, where he lives.

Mr O"Neill, who was born in Glasgow, is now recovering and his sight is returning.

He told the Daily Record: "My first big objective is to drive and then to fly."

Mr O"Neill also paid tribute to the RAF, saying he owed his life to it and also noting that, had he crash-landed, he may have killed other people.

According to academy.org.uk, commercial and airline transport pilots who fall under the JAR Class 1 classification may wear contact lenses.

But soft ones with high levels of water should not be worn and bifocal ones are not approved.

by Emily Tait


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