Author Topic: Cape cobra sneaks onto aircraft, pilot makes emergency landing  (Read 4551 times)

Offline KB4TEZ

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uh, no, no and no.  wow

Rudolf Erasmus, the pilot of a Beechcraft Baron, has been hailed a hero by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) for safely executing an emergency landing in Welkom with four passengers after realising a Cape cobra had snuck inside the aircraft.

Hardly ideal in the midst of a country-wide antivenom shortage.  When the alarming discovery was made that a very poisonous snake had snuck onto a flight from Cape Town to Nelspruit, Captain Rudolf Erasmus had to quickly and calmly decide to make an emergency landing in Welkom.

At the moment of the shocking discovery, Erasmus said that he felt something cold against his back at an altitude of 9 000 feet (2.7 km).

Once safely on the ground, the pilot and his four passengers made a hasty exit from the aircraft after it safely landed.

Johan de Klerk, a snake handler, and the Executive Director of Capital Sounds International Broadcast, Brian Emmenis, were called to the scene, but they haven’t found the cobra yet.

The search has continued this morning.  According to Brian Emmenis, mielie meal was spread to entice the unwanted passenger out of the plane, but with temperatures in Welkom so low, it’s no surprise he hasn’t left yet. he snake handlers were scheduled to arrive at 9am to assist, and an animal welfare organisation will transport the cobra safely back to his home.

Cape cobras are one of Africa’s most venomous snakes, and their venom is highly neurotoxic, attacking the nervous system. If left untreated, the venom can cause paralysis, respiratory failure and even death in humans.

Due to a severe lack of antivenom in South Africa, snake bite victims are only getting half the amount of snake venom they need, if they get any treatment at all.

Had Captain Erasmus not handled the emergency operation with such skill, he and his passengers would have been in grave danger.