Cobra sneaks under cockpit, pilot keeps nerve, makes emergency landing

South African pilot Rudolf Erasmus has received a lot of accolades from the flight experts for showing his presence of mind in difficult situations. While his plane was in mid-air, a venomous cobra reared its head in the cockpit.

Erasmus, who has five years of experience as a pilot, kept his nerve, and the cobra went down under his seat the moment he saw it.

However, he was flying a small aircraft with four passengers aboard, and the plane was going from Worcester to Nelspruit.

Erasmus clarified his situation of that moment on the website TimeLive.

He further added that “when we performed all the pre-flight procedures on Monday morning, the people at Worcester airfield told us that a Cape Cobra was lying under the wing on Sunday afternoon.” They tried to catch it but failed to do so. It sought refuge inside the engine cowlings. The group opened the cowlings, but the snake was not found; they assumed that it had slipped away somewhere else.

He went on to say that I usually keep a water bottle between my legs and hips towards the side wall of the aircraft. In the meantime, I felt cold, and I thought that there was a leak from my bottle. Then I turned down and looked downward; I found a cobra positioning its head back under my seat.

He said that for the moment, I became stunned. What to do next? Should I tell other passengers? But I didn’t want to create a panic on the plane, so I just announced, “Listen, there is an issue.” A snake is inside the aircraft, so we are going to land as soon as possible.

The flight was close to the airport at Welkom, so Erasmus declared an emergency with the control tower in Johannesburg. “The three passengers in the back came out first, and then the one sitting in front of me,” Erasmus said.

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