Plane forced to make emergency return to New York after horse breaks free - Hindustan Times
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Plane forced to make emergency return to New York after horse on board breaks free

Nov 16, 2023 11:24 AM IST

Horse escapes mid-flight, cargo plane makes emergency return to New York.

A routine cargo flight from New York to Belgium became a horse's unexpected journey when the equine passenger managed to escape its stall mid-flight. The 747 cargo plane, operated by Air Atlanta Icelandic, was en route to Liege Airport when the unusual incident occurred.

A China Airlines cargo plane flies past as fans sit in the stands during the NFL game between Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs at the Waldstadion in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany on November 5, 2023.(AFP)
A China Airlines cargo plane flies past as fans sit in the stands during the NFL game between Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs at the Waldstadion in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany on November 5, 2023.(AFP)

The air traffic control audio, obtained by You Can See ATC via Live ATC, captured the pilot's surprising announcement: "We are a cargo plane with a live animal, a horse, on board. The horse managed to escape its stall. There's no issue with flying, but we need to go back to New York as we can't resecure the horse."

Within 30 minutes of takeoff, the Boeing 747, barely reaching 31,000 feet, made a U-turn off the coast of Boston. The pilot, faced with the unconventional problem, decided to jettison approximately 20 tons of fuel over the Atlantic, "10 miles west of Martha's Vinyard," to accommodate the weight constraints, as reported in the FlightRadar24 data.

Amidst the fuel dump, the pilot requested a veterinarian to be present at JFK upon the plane's return. "On the ground, negative. On the ramp, yes, we have a horse in problem," the pilot responded when asked if they required assistance upon landing.

The mystery of the horse's escape remains unsolved, as the audio revealed that the animal was unrestrained until the plane touched down at John F. Kennedy International Airport. The unexpected detour caused some delays, but the situation was eventually resolved.

Despite the initial hiccup, the flight managed to resume its journey, taking off from JFK and successfully arriving at Liege Airport on Friday morning, according to FlightRadar24.

Air Atlanta Icelandic, the charter airline in charge, has yet to provide details on the incident. The horse's mid-air escapade adds a new chapter to the annals of aviation anecdotes, reminding us that even in the sky, the unexpected can unfold.

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