You read that headline right. Apparently, a Boeing 747 flying from New York to Belgium was forced to return to JFK after a horse on board "escaped from its stall."
The plane was around 31,000 feet in the air when the pilot contacted Boston air traffic control. "We have [a] live animal, [a] horse on board the airplane," the pilot told them. "And the horse managed to escape the stall."
The pilot said that they didn't have any problems flying, but that the plane needed to return to New York because the crew couldn't re-secure the horse.
"We don't have a problem...flying-wise," the pilot told air traffic control, "but we need to return, return back to New York. We cannot get the horse back secured."
Side note: According to CNN, apparently even horses travel in either first class, business class, or economy when flying. I need to know more about this particular horse and how it was traveling. Maybe she just wanted some of the honeycrisp apples they were giving out in first?
Apparently, less than 30 minutes into the flight, the plane pulled an abrupt U-turn somewhere near Boston. What's more, they notified Boston air traffic control that due to their weight, they would need to dump20 tonsof fuel. They ended up dumping the fuel around 10 miles west of Martha's Vineyard.
I looked it up, and according to Reuters, jet fuel prices for Northwest Europe "were at $878 per metric ton" as of November 2. So, that's a little over $17,500 of fuel.
The pilot did request that a veterinarian be present at the plane's landing in New York, but there's no indication that the horse was injured. Currently the airline, Air Atlanta Icelandic, has not responded to a BuzzFeed request for comment.
There were some pretty punny tweets about the situation:
FLIGHT ATTENDANT: Have you seen a horse on this plane? It's gotten loose.
...And now, we need to debrief. Logically, I know that horses who travel internationally travel on airplanes. It's just that for some reason, I still imagined them traveling by...ship? Maybe that's just me. I guess this is, like, a more modern twist on a Black Stallion situation.
But I have so many more questions than have currently been answered. WHOSE HORSE IS THIS? Despite my best journalistic efforts, I have been unable to find out.
I feel like this story is missing some key points. Number one: What exactly went down with this horse on this plane? And how is it doing? Number two: Were there any other horses aboard the aircraft? Number three: Yes, I know that horses travel on planes. But I want to know why this horse happened to be going to Belgium. Who is this diva?
Let me know your thoughts. Or, better, if you know this horse, let me know the details!