Horse breaks loose on Boeing 747, forces flight to turn around

Hi-Yo, Silver! Away!

A recent charter flight operated by Air Atlanta Icelandic from JFK to Belgium was turned around shortly after takeoff as a horse had escaped its containment. As the plane approached cruising altitude, it was reported that there was a horse on the loose, but the plane was OK.

Now, a horse is a horse, of course, of course, unless, of course, the horse is loose and agitated at thirty-one thousand feet. The incident became serious enough that it was deemed necessary to turn the 747 around, dump fuel, and have a vet come help with the scared animal.


"We don't have a problem (…) flying-wise," one of the pilots says in a video reconstruction by YouTube channel "You Can See ATC," but "we cannot get the horse back secured."

In the recordings, Air Traffic Control can be heard granting the pilots' request to return to JFK Airport and, because the plane was too heavy, to dump 20 tonnes of fuel east of Nantucket.

The pilot also asks for a veterinarian to meet the plane upon landing, because "we have a horse in difficulty."

A representative from Air Atlanta Icelandic told CNN that the information in the "You Can See ATC" video is correct.

The flight history on tracking site shows that, following the diversion, the plane was able to take off again some three hours behind schedule. It landed in Liege at 6.49 a.m. local time on the morning of November 10.

Image: Boing Boing/MidJourney