In a dramatic incident during a New York to Belgium cargo flight, a Boeing 747 had to abruptly return to John F Kennedy International Airport when a horse broke free from its stall at 30,000 feet. The pilot informed air traffic control about the situation, stating, “We have a live animal, a horse, on board the airplane. The horse managed to escape.” Despite efforts to re-secure the animal, the crew couldn’t, leading to the decision to land back at the airport.
As a precaution, 20 tonnes of fuel were disposed of “east of Nantucket” to reduce weight before the return. The reason behind the horse’s unexpected freedom remains unknown. The flight later resumed, successfully reaching Liege Airport the following morning. The purpose behind transporting the horse was undisclosed, according to BBC.
In a similar incident in August, a bear cub broke loose in the cargo hold of a passenger flight from Dubai to Baghdad. A specialized animal control team had to be called in to sedate the bear, causing a three-hour delay for the flight.