View Full Version : Cat in cockpit (merged)

10th Aug 2004, 08:42
This morning a flight from BRU to VIE operated by SN Brussels Airlines returned to Brussels after a cat carried by a passenger got out of the box it was carried in, managed to get into the cockpit when the pilots were getting their meal. It apparently attacked the FO and the flight returned to BRU.

10th Aug 2004, 09:39
Okay, here's a couple of "animals in the cockpit" stories.

US Army helicopter at low level in Germany in the 1980s suffered a birdstrike. The bird passed through the thin central cockpit window between the two pilots and impacted the bulkhead behind them. Loads of noise, windrush, blood and feathers. Nobody hurt. Slowed right down, noise levels subside. Suddenly the handling pilot is physically attacked from behind by a now conscious and extremely pissed off bloody great shite-hawk who had only been stunned. Terrific hand-to-hand combat ensued with the aircrew being the ultimate victors thanks to judicious deployment of their aircrew knives.

Northern Ireland, a Lynx helicopter this time, which had picked up a patrol including a dog and its handler. We all know how dogs like to stick their heads between the forward seats in a car for a decent view out the front. Pilots thought this was hilarious. Nice friendly sniffer dog, all panting tongue and wagging tail, watching the professionals in action. Suddenly the stab system drops out and the cab is all over the shop until the chaps get it under control. With all the excitement, the dog had relieved itself all over the avionics between seats!

Simulate that on your next check ride!

10th Aug 2004, 09:56
Shouldn't cockpit doors be closed nowadays? If cats can come in, what other "wild animals" may be able, too??

11th Aug 2004, 12:58
For some reason the moderators closed this topic after just two days. Maybe they all hate cats.
However, I think the thread should be re-opened not just because I'm a cat-lover but because it has significance to airline operations. According to the newspaper story I read, the cat escaped from a pax's carry-on bag on a SN Brussels flight to Vienna and got onto the flight deck when the FA opened the door to serve food to the pilots. The cat then scratched the FO's arm. The pilot, "taking no chances", decided to return to Brussels and the 58 pax had to wait 2 hours for the next flight to VIE.
Surely this was an overreaction on the part of the captain. Or were his actions justified?

12th Aug 2004, 16:51
I don't fly for a living, but I do have an interest in flight safety. I certainly do not think this was over-reaction on the part of the crew.

1. the cat could have been a planned distraction prior to some nastier event taking place whilst the flight deck door was open

2. it attacked the FO - albeit far-fetched but it could have been trained to attack the crew - I'm sure the CIA have been trying to perfect far worse ideas

3. assuming that the crew were previously unaware of the cat's presence in the passenger cabin, they may have felt that if a cat got past airport security something nastier (if there is anything nastier than a cat :yuk: :yuk: ) could have done so too.

Altogether a sensible course of action. I hope that the company, and any inconvenienced passengers, sue the cat's owner for negligence.


cargo boy
12th Aug 2004, 23:10
"I don't fly for a living, but I do have an interest in flight safety."Give us a break! With theories like those of NN above, do we really need any more 'anoraks' giving us their 'trained, killer pussy cat sent to distract crew to facilitate nasty event' theories on this professional pilots forum? :rolleyes:

And some people wonder why they get their heads bitten off for posting on this forum! Need I point out more? If you honestly have no idea what the job is really about then please don't waste your time with 'al-Quaida trained distraction cats' theories. You really should go into politics or airport security!

It really doesn't take much for the journalists to pull one over you NN, does it! Some tabloid loser of a journalist hears about a cat getting out of its carry case and then invents a human interest bit with the feline 'attacking' the pilots to juice up his story. Sad journalism and even sadder consumer gullability. :hmm:

13th Aug 2004, 10:08
An attack cat? Purleeeese!:rolleyes:

Fester T Adams
13th Aug 2004, 10:31
Flippin heck. :rolleyes:

The captain decided to turn back cause he was afraid the cat might trip a switch. Presumably the cat was in too agitated a state to be caught, who knows? End of story.

Next theory will probably be the cat spent six months in some cave in Afghanistan being trained to carry out the attack. :rolleyes:

13th Aug 2004, 10:50
it attacked the FO - albeit far-fetched but it could have been trained to attack the crew

NN - what are you smoking? Train a cat to attack a man in a white shirt with two, three or four gold bars on his shoulders!

Have you ever owned a cat? Clearly not - even Barbara Woodhouse didn't attempt to persuade a moggy to sit or walk on a lead, so why do you expect Osama's bunch to try something far harder?

13th Aug 2004, 19:10
Don't know if anyone else has thought of it, but some people are allergic to cats (myself included). Allergies are not tested for on any of the flight crew medicals afaik (Yes, I have a valid class-1. No, I am not an airline pilot, I have a way to go yet)

I am led to believe that cat allergies are fairly common amongst allergies. It may not be life-threatening, but it can be damn uncomfortable. But if you're single-pilot IFR, as my career may yet progress to, it could become downright dangerous.

Just a thought. :hmm:

Bomber Harris
15th Aug 2004, 01:43
you have nothing to worry about. all modern jet airliners have a 'cat allergy' checklist for this common emergency.

by the way.....i think you should consider giving your class 1 medical back to the caa...i'm not sure you'll like flying as a career....i have a feeling you will get the p##s taken out of you a lot.

hey...cargo boy...well said. I must admit, I like to fly with some killer pussy myself!!!

Flying Lawyer
15th Aug 2004, 17:50
Thanks for that post Numpo-Nigit.

I've noticed our two cats tend to slip away for a few hours at night. Until I read your post, I'd always assumed they were getting laid, but I suppose they could be going to Al Qaeda training. Any tell-tale signs we should look for?

I think ours are probably OK, they're British Blues. Do you think people with Persian cats ought to be extra vigilant - and report any suspicious behaviour to the authorities?

Tudor Owen

PS: Thanks for trying to help the legal profession but, in the current compensation culture, there are already more than enough people wanting to bring daft claims without you encouraging even more of them.

16th Aug 2004, 12:14
And another idiotic theory,i was posted to RAF Laarbruch in the late 70s,on the nbc phase of the arrivals course this idiot(nice term) asks the course instructor if rabies has ever been considered as a biological weapon,cue scenes of incredulous laughter before the wing commander instructor composes himself and apologiseses(sp.?) by saying :the sight of buccaneers flying low level into soviet russia with alsations strapped to the pylons was just to much for me to take,cue scenes of more laughter with the person who originally asked the question unable to figure out what was so funny.

16th Aug 2004, 15:16
The damn cat's lucky it wasnt onboard Vietnam airlines or Air China...

No offence to our Far-Eastern colleagues, but I sure as hell would have considered putting that damn cat in my pot noodle for dinner!

Cat's training must have included "Use of the Cockpit Door Locking System Keypad"...

maybe even hacked onto the service interphone and imitated the cabin supervisor.

With further regards to this topic, sorry, don't have any other animal stories.

17th Aug 2004, 20:29
>>i have a feeling you will get the p##s taken out of you a lot.
You're so right. Was it something I said ? :D

>>you have nothing to worry about. all modern jet airliners have
>>a 'cat allergy' checklist for this common emergency

phew! I'm immensly relieved to hear it. (Is there one for dealing with sense-of-humour failure ?). You'll be pleased to know I've shredded all my paperwork and applied for a job with the CAA tick-in-box dept, where the first thing I'll do is force all operators to ensure all loose pussies are tightened before departure. You see if I don't. That'll spoil your fun, god-dammit. Killer pussy, indeed.

Shame it wasn't a kitten. Would pop neatly through a DV window. Mind you, I could probably get a cat through there if I pushed hard enough. I would add sink-plungers to the MEL, for use in emergency pussy evacuations. Help you do it with one hand, if you don't have a co-pilot ( who presumeably collapsed and died on account of his cat-allergy :p)

Chickenscanfly, try this:

I saw some photos from this a while back, but I can't find the website. I'll try and dig out the url.