A HERO pilot averted disaster yesterday by spotting Peppa Pig “walking across” a busy runway.
The 3ft pink inflatable could have caused damage to passenger jets if it had been sucked into an engine so emergency crews raced around for 15 minutes to catch it.
Plane spotter Glen Ramsey, 49, captured the dramatic moment on camera while watching planes land with son Olly, 13, from the airport’s viewing park.
He said: “We couldn’t believe it. The balloon had legs so it actually looked like Peppa Pig was just walking across the runway.
“It was crossing the pilot’s path which is what caused him to make the radio call.
“It definitely could’ve caused some damage if it got caught in an engine.
“Suddenly an airside assistance truck and a fire engine drove on to the tarmac to catch it. The fire engine then drove up and down the runway a few times, I think just checking for anything else.
“You couldn’t make it up. The balloon drifted across the two runways. At first it was funny, but then as the plane came around I started to wonder if I should call the police.
“But you can imagine how stupid you’d feel having that conversation. So it was a relief the pilot saw it.”
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The captain had landed in Manchester from Faro, Portugal, at 2pm and spotted the blow-up Peppa floating while taxiing his aircraft.
Married dad-of-two Glen, from Middlewich, Cheshire, said there is a kids’ play area at the viewing tower, which is where he believes the balloon drifted from.
He added: “There were groups of schoolkids there on a trip, so I think it definitely would have come from there.
“The pilot certainly saved someone’s bacon by spotting it and reporting it.”
Manchester Airport confirmed the incident and said collecting and removing litter blown in by the wind “is part of the standard, day-to-day airfield operations”.
In 2015 a flight from Manchester to Atlanta was delayed by a day after fire crews sprayed the plane with foam instead of water during a salute to celebrate its inaugural flight.
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