Jun 1 2012 by Jackie Grant, Dumfries Standard Friday
A TERRIFIED taxi driver claims an RAF Hercules plane narrowly missed his car on the M74 motorway on Monday.
Andy Martin from Dumfries was taking his two daughters to Glasgow when he noticed cars swerving on the road ahead.
He told the Standard he was two miles up the M74 after leaving Beattock at around 1.30pm when the incident happened.
Mr Martin said: “I wondered why the cars were swerving in front of me and the next thing I knew there was a Hercules aeroplane sweeping round the corner heading right for us.
“My youngest daughter Katie, 19, was in the back and she screamed that it was going to hit us.
“It ended up flying less than 100 feet above the car and I was left shaking like a leaf.
“My eldest daughter Kelly-Ann was sitting in the passenger seat. She’s 39-weeks pregnant and the shock could have put her into labour.
“That would have been fun and games.”
Mr Martin, aged 50, now plans to report the incident in writing to the RAF.
He added: “I phoned the police and was given two phone numbers for the RAF but haven’t been able to get through.
“I’m going to write a formal complaint because I’m extremely angry at the fact it could have caused a catastrophe. Cars could have crashed on the motorway.
“I’m flabbergasted that a plane that size was allowed to fly so low above a motorway and it’s not a nice thing to experience.
“I could have had a heart attack.”
A spokesman for the Royal Air Force said: “I can confirm that a Royal Air Force C-130 Hercules transport aircraft was operating in the area at the time.
“This region is a designated Tactical Training Area within the UK’s Low Flying System and the aircraft was therefore cleared to fly at altitudes down to 150 feet at times.
“Low flying is an essential and highly-demanding skill for military aircrew which can only be maintained through regular and realistic training.
“ It is always conducted with the safety of people on the ground, our aircrew, and other airspace users as the overriding concern.”