A Horse Actually Broke Free on Flight Over Cape Cod
Did you hear the one about a horse running loose on a flight over Cape Cod?
It sounds like the start of a strange joke, yet it actually happened in the skies over Massachusetts last week.
An international cargo plane heading for Belgium had taken off from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York when 90 minutes into the flight a horse being transported broke out of its stall and was loose inside the Boeing jet.
In the calls to air traffic control, the pilot explains that the horse was unable to be secured back its stall and an emergency landing back in New York was going to be necessary.
Seems something as large as a horse roaming around the cabin isn't the same as people moving around mid-flight. The horse's weight and sudden movements could have changed the balance of the plane and made it uncontrollable.
And although the landing at J.F.K. Airport was approved, the pilot needed one more thing before it could be done.
To dump 20 tons of jet fuel from the plane.
Planes need to be a lot lighter to land than they do to take off and since the plane was fueled up for a trip to Belgium, it was way too heavy to safely make the landing in New York.
So as the plane changed path directly over Martha's Vineyard, it began dumping about 6,000 gallons of fuel for 20 minutes over the Cape and Islands.
Luckily the plane was traveling over 22,000 feet above the coastline at the time of the fuel dump, and any fuel released at just 2500 feet or higher will simply evaporate before it hits the ground.
The plane was then able to make a successful landing back in New York and the loose horse was seen by a veterinarian upon their return.
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