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Snake on plane forces emergency landing

posted 5 Apr 2012, 04:53 by Mpelembe   [ updated 5 Apr 2012, 04:53 ]

An Australian pilot is forced to make an emergency landing after a snake slithers into his cockpit.

DARWIN, AUSTRALIA (APRIL 5, 2012) (NINE NETWORK) - In a scene that seems to come straight out of a film, an Australian pilot was forced to make an emergency landing when he spotted a snake slithering around the cockpit of his light aircraft.

The stowaway was spotted on board an Air Frontier aircraft ten minutes after take-off from Darwin in northern Australia, on Tuesday (April 03).

"My blood pressure and heart rate were a bit elevated. It was an interesting experience," said the pilot Braden Blennerhassett.

Blennerhassett wasted no time making a mayday call and returning to the airport.

"Time of landing, yeah obviously, the snake was, yeah, crawling down my leg which was, yeah, frightening," he said.

A snake handler was requested to meet the aircraft.

"The call he made was, 'you're not going to believe me and it's not a joke but I have a snake on a plane'," said parks and wildlife ranger, Sally Heaton.

Local media reported a tree frog was also spotted on board the aircraft - although neither have been found.

"By the time we got there and had a look the frog was gone so I don't know if the snake had got it and taken it away somewhere to hide and eat it," said Heaton.

It is thought it was a golden tree snake and it may have been lured into the plane by a frog.

An Air Frontier spokesman said the event was not good for business and the aircraft would undergo rigorous checks.

"The aeroplane is in for maintenance at the moment so we've got a trap in the back of the aircraft and it'll be pulled apart and the snake will be found," said Blennerhassett.