"Snakes on a Plane" Plight Forces Flight to Land

A snake slithered out of the dashboard and down the pilot's leg as he made an emergency landing to get rid of the creature.

By Sam Schulz
|  Thursday, Apr 5, 2012  |  Updated 4:15 AM PDT
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"You're not going to believe this. I've got snakes on a plane," an alarmed Australian pilot told air traffic controllers after discovering what is believed to have been a golden tree snake in the cockpit of his Air Frontier plane.

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An Australian pilot got a scare this week — and air traffic controllers got an unusual call — when he saw a snake slither out of the dashboard in his plane's cockpit mid-flight.

"You're not going to believe this. I've got snakes on a plane," Pilot Braden Blennerhassett told air traffic control when he felt the creature.

"As the plane was landing the snake was crawling down my leg, which was frightening," he later told Australia's Nine News.

The alarmed 26-year-old pilot for Air Frontier wasn't carrying any passengersat the time, luckily. He had just left the city of Darwin in the country's north, and as soon as he saw the snake he turned the plane around for an emergency landing.

After the plane was safely on the ground, a firefighter came on board and found not only the snake — likely a harmless golden tree snake, according to Nine News — but also a tree frog.

But both had disappeared somewhere inside the plane by the time a park ranger arrived to take them. That ranger said the snake might have chased the frog onto the plane.

Air Frontier's director Geoffrey Hunt said the plane was still being searched for the reptilian and amphibian stowaways and wouldn't be used until they were caught.

"Until we find the snake, it's not good for business," he told Australia's ABC News.

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