Cargo plane forced to return to JFK Airport after horse on board gets loose.
A Boeing 747 cargo plane en route from New York to Belgium, had to return to John F. Kennedy International Airport after a horse broke free mid-flight from its enclosure.
Based on the audio recording obtained from Live ATC, the horse managed to escape within the first 30 minutes of the flight while the aircraft was at approximately 31,000 feet.
In the recorded conversation, the pilot explained, “We are a cargo plane with a live animal, a horse, on board. The horse managed to escape its stall. There’s no issue with flying, but we need to go back to New York as we can’t resecure the horse.”
As a result, the flight executed a U-turn off the coast of Boston and jettisoned around 20 tons of fuel over the Atlantic, specifically “10 miles west of Martha’s Vineyard,” to adjust for the reduced weight, as indicated in the audio.
During the fuel dump, the pilot requested the presence of a veterinarian at JFK upon the plane’s arrival. When questioned by air traffic control upon landing about requiring assistance, the response was, “On the ground, negative. On the ramp, yes, we have a horse in problem.”
The circumstances surrounding the horse’s escape remained unclear, but the animal was unrestrained until the plane safely landed at JFK, according to the audio. Subsequently, the flight resumed its journey and successfully reached Liege Airport on Friday morning, as reported by FlightRadar24.
Although the reason as to why the horse was being transported remains unknown, one of the more common reasons is the transportation of race horses.
“You have a first class, a business class, and the economy,” one source told CNN, referring to the different sized container options available for the animals.