Hold your horses — especially when you’re on an airplane!
In what seems like a plot to a comedy movie, a cargo plane headed to Belgium from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport had to return to its origin after reaching 31,000 feet, when it was found that a horse had unattached from its stall.
The flight, operated by Air Atlanta Icelandic on November 9, made contact with air traffic control about 30 minutes into the flight to ask permission to return the plane to New York after the flight crew was alerted of the incident.
“We are a cargo plane with a live animal, a horse, on board. The horse managed to escape its stall,” a pilot can be heard saying on a recording of the air traffic control call reconstructed by You Can See ATC. “There’s no issue with flying, but we need to go back to New York as we can’t resecure the horse.”
The plane was permitted to temporarily reroute but had to dump nearly 20 pounds of fuel off the island of Nantucket as it was too heavy to secure a landing given the horse’s position on the plane.
Veterinary help was requested upon landing as the horse was described to be “in problem,” as the horse remained unrestrained until the plane safely touched down at JFK.
According to flight tracking site FlightRadar24, the flight took off around three hours later and safely landed in Liege, Belgium around 6:49 a.m. local time on November 10.