Horse trotting loose inside cargo hold sends Air Atlanta Icelandic flight back to JFK

Air Atlanta Icelandic plane flying in the sky and a horse tied in a plane’s cargo — Air Atlanta Icelandic An Air Atlanta Icelandic cargo plane spilled 6,000 gallons of fuel over the Cape and Islands after a horse on board broke free from its stall, during an emergency return to New York’s John F Kennedy International Airport on Thursday.

It took the pilot of the Air Atlanta Icelandic aircraft twenty minutes to empty the gasoline, starting ten miles west of Martha’s Vineyard and ending over the Atlantic, east of Nantucket, reported CAI.

About ninety minutes before, the Boeing 747-400F had taken off from John F Kennedy International Airport.

Dan Wolf, founder and board chairman of Cape Air in Hyannis, said that the fuel dump was required ahead of the unannounced return since landings require less weight than takeoffs.

According to Wolf, the plane was flying at a height of 22,000 feet, which is high enough for the gasoline to evaporate and reduce any potential environmental damage.

“That amount of jet fuel in the atmosphere is not a good thing, but the quantity is not significant enough to have a major impact,” he said.

The greater worry, according to Wolf, is loose cargo, particularly when it involves a huge animal confined inside a pressurised aircraft.

“The horse managed to escape the stall…We cannot get the horse secured,” the pilot told the controller.

“If the horse can move around, it can change the weight and balance of the aircraft,” said David Fisichella, president of the nonprofit Cape Cod Aero Club in Falmouth. “The centre of gravity of the plane could change so significantly that the plane could become uncontrollable.”

When it safely landed in New York, the pilot asked to meet the crew with a veterinarian.

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