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Kitten in cockpit forces emergency landing

Published on 10/08/2004

10 August 2004

BRUSSELS – A plane had to make an emergency landing at Brussels half an hour after takeoff – because a kitten got into the cockpit.

La Dernière Heure reported on Tuesday that Brussels Airlines’ flight 2905 to Vienna took off on Monday at 12.58pm.

A woman was travelling with a cat in a cage, in the cabin with her. The kitten, called Gin, escaped. Several passengers noticed, but no one thought to alert the four air stewards, who were in the back preparing lunch.

Gin made his way down the aisle and later into the cockpit where it turned aggressive. When it attacked the co-pilot, the pilots decided to make an emergency landing “as a precaution”.

The plane landed again at 1.39pm and its 57 passengers had to wait until 3.27pm before they could board another plane to Vienna.

Gin’s owner and Gin weren’t allowed to fly out until later in the evening.

An investigation was immediately launched into the incident. SN Brussels’ flight crew is believed to have followed all the regulations governing animals on flights. Under international rules, only two animals can board a single flight and they must be caged.

It is still unclear how Gin escaped. His owner says she was asleep when it happened. A young boy was accused of letting the cat out, but he has denied any part in the escape.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news