Thursday, December 20, 2007

NEVER fly with animals

I was reading a post on Views From The Left Seat and was reminded of a humorous story I once read.

From the Alaska is Different website:

"The cat, the dog, and the dynamite

Jack Wilson, well known bush pilot, now retired, told me this story many years ago and recently included it in a book he wrote, Glacier Wings and Tales. Jack was flying cargo from Cordova to McCarthy. Among other things his load included a cat in a sack, a small, feisty dog, dynamite and caps. Because of potential problems he put the dynamite in the back of the small plane and the dynamite caps in the passenger seat.

During the trip some rough air was experienced and this apparently disturbed the cat. It began to move around in the sack and make strange noises. This caught the attention of the dog, which had not realized an age-old enemy was also on board. All of a sudden the cat found its way out of the sack and the battle was on.

According to Jack the fur was literally flying as the animals careened from the front to the back of the cabin, locked in mortal combat. All this time Jack was trying to fly the aircraft through the turbulence and also prevent the animals from landing on the explosive dynamite caps. According to Jack, he would take a poke at them with his fist whenever they came in range. Eventually he was able to grab the cat and throw it to the rear of the plane where, astonishingly, it remained. Then he put a hammer lock on the dog and finally made it to the McCarthy airstrip.

A similar story was related to me by a bush pilot who shall go unnamed. This gentleman was flying his aircraft in Kodiak. The cargo included some lady’s very precious cat. Apparently, as the plane gained altitude the cat’s ears became plugged and the pain caused the cat to go somewhat berserk. It was going around and around in the cabin, bouncing first off the windshield then the side windows, effectively causing consternation for the pilot. After the cat had made several rapid circles around the inside of the airplane the pilot despaired of ever calming the agitated feline. So he opened the window and when the cat came around again it hit the opening and the problem was solved. The pilot never did tell me what he told the owner of the cat when he arrived in Kodiak. I really don’t want to know."

1 comment:

ProPilots said...

That's one way to solve your cat problem! I've had a few cats on board and in a business jet the cockpit door is generally always open. A nice little kitty found a comfy spot under my chair on one trip. It seemed content and every so often we'd hear a little meow coming from down there. I guess I've only had positive expierences with animals unlike those 2 stories.