Hat tip to Sylvia of the Fear of Landing blog for mentioning an article from the Scottish Sun about a pilot who recently “got lost” in the clouds after a cockpit failure and required a helicopter to help work out where he was and get him to Glasgow.
Apparently, the aircraft was on its way from Northampton to Perth and was in radio contact with the control tower when he “lost cockpit instruments including the compass.” Police were dispatched to guide him until he had visual contact with Glasgow which he quickly got and landed safely.
Of course, the media did a pretty good job of trying to sensationalize the incident, especially with the line:
Scores of people gathered on the ground below to see the demolition of the city’s Red Road flats looked on in horror as the Strathclyde force chopper came precariously close to colliding with the tiny aircraft.
Sylvia was also quick to point out that on a Professional Pilots Rumour Network (PPRuNe community) has a lengthy thread where one of pilots of the helicopter who offered a few facts left out by the story and who noted:
I understand that when he went IMC his gyro toppled and Edinburgh were treating him as a ‘no compass no gyro’ aircraft.
All’s well that ends well but the weather was poor. I think I would have listened to [the controller’s] advice.
In other words, perhaps the real story was that the pilot should not have taken off in the first place if the weather was poor.