Horse Incident on Plane Forces Pilot To Turn Back

Photo by Ross Parmly on Unsplash

( – A Boeing 747 cargo plane that had departed from John F. Kennedy International Airport and was heading to Belgium was required to dump 20 tons of fuel into the Atlantic Ocean after being forced to return back to JFK because a horse on board became unsecured.

Earlier this month, the Air Atlanta Icelandic charter aircraft was around 30 minutes from takeoff when the pilot radioed air traffic control to inform them that one of the horses aboard the plane ended up jumping partway over the barrier of its stall. The horse was reportedly spooked by an incident with turbulence.

The pilot proceeded to note that there were no issues with flying. However, they were unable to re-secure the horse while still being on air. As such, they needed to make a U-turn and return to New York. For the plane to perform the U-turn, they had to dump around twenty tons of fuel into the ocean, only 10 miles away from Martha’s Vineyard. The fuel was dumped in order to reduce the weight of the plane for landing.

The fuel was dumped and into the Atlantic, and a veterinarian was ready to go as soon as the plane landed. The pilot had requested from air traffic control for a vet to be on call to secure the horse upon landing.

After the plane landed, air traffic control also inquired whether any further assistance would be required. However, the pilot replied that they would only require help on the ramp due to the horse problem.

Unfortunately, it was determined that the horse’s injuries were too serious, and it had to be euthanized.

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