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Rowan Atkinson, the British comic actor best known for his role as the accident-prone Mr. Bean, seized the controls when the pilot of his light aircraft fainted in the sky over Kenya, according to a report published yesterday.

Mr. Atkinson, 46, who does not know how to fly, kept the plane carrying his wife and two children on a steady course until the pilot regained consciousness, according to the Spectator magazine.

The actor had chartered the Cessna 202 aircraft during a family holiday in Kenya last month. He and his family were being flown from Ukundu, a resort near Mombassa, to Nairobi's Wilson airport, according to the Spectator.

Mr. Atkinson's management company refused to comment.

The magazine, quoting sources at the airport and friends of Mr. Atkinson, said that the Cessna started to lurch from side to side and the nose dipped violently after the pilot passed out at an altitude of 16,000 feet. Mr. Atkinson and his wife reportedly tried to revive the man, but without success.

Mr. Atkinson took the controls and kept the plane airborne until the pilot came to, took back the controls and landed the aircraft.

After reporting the incident, the actor and his family caught a British Airways flight back to London from Jomo Kenyatta Airport in Nairobi, the Spectator said.