Airline, Travel News|

Cockpit Cat Delays Air Canada

Ripples the CatOn Wednesday, an Air Canada flight was grounded for four hours after a passenger’s furry friend escaped its carrier. The service was suppose to depart Halifax for Toronto around 5:30am, but Ripples the cat got out of his carrier in the cabin of the plane. The door to his carrier was inadvertently opened by another passenger as they were putting luggage in an overhead compartment. An incident like this normally wouldn’t take so long to handle, but the terrified feline headed right for the cockpit.

Of course, the reason the flight was delayed for so long was because they didn’t know where Ripples had darted off to at first. A flight attendant announced to the passengers that they were looking for a cat, and more and more time continued to tick buy. Passenger Kyle Warkentin told reporters that the crew eventually turned the engines and all the plane’s power off to calm the cat. The cat’s owner called out for Ripples repeatedly while the crew searched the plane. Warkentin said that he could see in the cockpit, and it looked like it was taken apart. The cat wasn’t just under someone’s feet, it was within the aircraft’s wiring, and it’s “bizarre how it got there”.

Air Canada spokeswoman Isabelle Arthur confirmed to reporters that the cat got into the cockpit wiring. The flight crew wasn’t successful at trying to convince Ripples out of the avionics bay, so the maintenance staff had to open it from another access panel, and this took some time to take apart.

Although Ripples was found and returned to his carrier, the plane remained grounded while maintenance crews checked the wiring to ensure that no wires had been bitten through. It was 9:45am before the flight could takeoff – about four hours after originally scheduled. Halifax Stanfield International Airport spokesman Peter Spurway said that this was done for passenger safety. The flight was delayed for several hours, which is unfortunate, but the primary concerns were that the pet was safely retrieved and that everything was okay for the plane to depart.

Spurway continued that the poor animal was undoubtedly terrified, but now passengers have had to endure a several-hour delay. This is the first time he’s encountered a loose cat in a plane cockpit. He got the impression from Air Canada’s staff that this was their first time dealing with such an incident as well.

Warkentin said that the Air Canada crew allowed the passengers to disembark the plane and helped them reschedule connecting flights. He added that Ripples’s owner was very upset and shaking over the incident. He also commended the airline for how it handled the event, but noted that they might want to amend their policy on animal carrying.

 

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