LONDON – A British pilot who was suddenly blinded by a stroke during a solo flight was talked safely down by a military pilot, the Royal...
LONDON – A British pilot who was suddenly blinded by a stroke during a solo flight was talked safely down by a military pilot, the Royal Air Force said Friday.
Jim O'Neill asked for help after he went blind 40 minutes into a flight from Scotland to southeastern England last week. The BBC reported that O'Neill, flying a small Cessna aircraft, lost his sight 5,500 feet in the air.
"It was terrifying," O'Neill said. "Suddenly, I couldn't see the dials in front of me."
RAF Wing Commander Paul Gerrard was just finishing a training flight nearby and was drafted in to help the stricken pilot.
Gerrard located the plane, began flying close to it and radioed directions.
"For me, I was just glad to help a fellow aviator in distress," he said.
MOSCOW – The fire safety system on a brand-new Russian nuclear submarine accidentally turned on as the sub was being tested in the Sea of Japan, spewing chemicals that suffocated 20 people and sent 21 others to the hospital, officials said Sunday.
The Russian Navy said the submarine itself was not damaged in Saturday's accident and returned to its base on Russia's Pacific coast under its own power Sunday. The accident also did not pose any radiation danger, the navy said.
Yet it was Russia's worst naval accident since torpedo explosions sank another nuclear-powered submarine, the Kursk, in the Barents Sea in 2000, killing all 118 seamen aboard.
The victims suffocated Saturday after the submarine's fire-extinguishing system released Freon gas, said Sergei Markin, an official with Russia's top investigative agency.
CAMAGUEY, Cuba – Once-ferocious Hurricane Paloma weakened into a tropical storm over Cuba on Sunday after flooding the southern coast with crashing waves and a powerful storm surge on an island still reeling from two recent hurricanes.
Early reports of damage were limited, but Cuban state media said the late-season storm toppled a major communications tower, interrupted electricity and phone service and sent sea water almost a mile (1.5 kilometers) inland near where it made landfall.
Vicente de la O of Cuba's national power company told state television Sunday that damage to the power grid was far less than that caused by hurricanes Gustav and Ike in August and September. No storm-related deaths were immediately reported.
Paloma made landfall near Santa Cruz del Sur late Saturday as an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane but quickly lost strength, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.