Thursday 4 March 2021

Feral cat attacks pilot mid-flight

COMMENT ON THE NEWS - SUDAN - TARCO AIRLINES: A plane was parked in a hangar at Khartoum International Airport before the flight. It was being worked on: cleaning and maintenance. A semi-feral cat sneaked onboard and into the cockpit where it hid.

Cat attacks pilot of plane mid-flight
Cat attacks pilot of plane mid-flight. This is a fun mock-up but
it was not fun at the time. Photo: News Hub.

30 minutes into the flight the cat emerged or was seen by the crew. The report is skimpy but the cat attacked the senior pilot, we are told. This sounds like defensive aggression from a scared cat. Perhaps the crew tried to remove the cat from the cockpit. 

It was a potentially serious situation as it could have jeopardised the safety of those onboard. The captain aborted the flight and returned to Khartoum  International Airport.

We don't know what happened to the cat. I hope it was simply freed. Airport management may change their policies and procedures to avoid a recurrence. I hope that the cat and no other cats are harmed as a consequence.

It is a very rare, perhaps unique event. Although there have been many incidents of domestic cats escaping their carriers and getting lost at airports. These cats make their way to safe places such as in the roof spaces. Great distress is felt by the owner. 

The cause? Probably a broken lock on the cat carrier or man-handling of the carrier at the airport causing the lock to break or become distorted.

Persian cats have been banned from one airline becuase they have breathing problems due to extreme breeding. There have been Persian cat deaths in the hold of aircraft during the flight.

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