Dublin airport: No lawnmower in sight in this picture!

Dublin Airport was the scene of a major near-miss last year after a Boeing 737 nearly collided with a lawnmower on the runway.

The startled pilot radioed air traffic controllers to say he could have sworn there was a lawnmower on a runway. The plane - which was carrying about 200 people back from Sharm el-Sheik in Egypt - passed within feet of the oblivious groundsman.

He did not even know an aircraft was about to land until he heard the ear-splitting screech of the plane's powerful brakes behind him.

An investigation found that the worker who was wearing giant ear-protectors and had no link to air traffic control - was driving a mower which did not have warning lights.

The investigation also detailed the radio contact beweeh the crew and air ttraffic control as the pilot could not believe what he had just seen. “Could have sworn I saw a man riding a lawnmower.”

The incident happened early in the morning at 1.53 a.m. on May 29 amid thick fog. Dublin Airport Authority had sent out three teams to cut the grass along the runways

. One supervisor even said people were ordered to mow the grass down the center of the runway.