The Daily Mail recently told the story of how a pleasure flight over the British countryside turned nightmarish with a close encounter with a tornado. Apparently a Cessna 150 had taken off from Eaglescott Airfield at Burrington, Devon, with a London pilot named Mark Wagner (who has more than 30 years of flying experience) at the controls and passengers Paul Scantlebury and Terry Gilbert to enjoy views of the North Devon countryside.
However and within the span of a few minutes, the sky quickly turned black, turbulence started shaking the aircraft violently and a tornado appeared – causing at least one passenger to panic:
He said that Mr Gilbert started shouting instructions at the pilot: ‘I clearly remember Terry screaming "Head for the middle of the twister, it’s the safest place. I saw it in a film."
‘The pilot very calmly said, "No, no Terry that’s wrong.
"We just have to stay away from it and land back at Eaglescott."
The aircraft was able to safely land but the incident also shows how the weather can quickly change from clear blue skies to something dark and menacing that can cause passengers unaccustomed to flying in a small aircraft to panic. Luckily the experienced pilot visibly kept his cool as the last thing a pilot needs to do is anything that would cause passengers to panic even further.
One of the passengers was able to snap this amazing photo as a souvenir: