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Hold your Horses - Horses in the Hold

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Hold your Horses - Horses in the Hold

Old 7th Mar 2017, 06:02
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Hold your Horses - Horses in the Hold

SUBJECT:Incident: KLM B744 over Atlantic on Feb.25th2017, Captain IncapacitatedAPPLICABILITY:ALL Fleet A KLM Boeing 747-400, registration PH-BFT performing flight KL-643 from Amsterdam (Netherlands) to New York JFK,NY (USA), was enroute at FL360 about 330nm north of St. John's,NL (Canada) when the crew decided to divert to St. John's declaring medical emergency due to the captain becoming ill. The aircraft landed safely on St. John's runway 11 about 50 minutes later.The airline reported the captain became ill and was taken to a hospital in stable condition. A replacement crew is being flown to St. John's.

While waiting for the replacement crew the passengers have been taken to hotels.On Feb 28th2017 a passenger reported that it transpiredthe captain had suffered a heart attack. The first officer diverted the aircraft to St. John's. After landing a lot of emergency personnel entered the aircraft, the captain was taken out of the cockpit on a wheelchair about 30 minutes after landing, he was alert and apologized to passengers.

It was announced that a replacement crew, which was scheduled to fly the return flight from JFK, would position to St. John's on a charter plane and arrive in about 4.5 hours. However, it was not possible to exit the aircraft due to the airport being unable to handle that many passengers and nine horses on board, that were loaded in the aft cargo hold, could not be unloaded due to lack of ground support, and were balanced out by the passengers -if all passengers exited the aircraft the aircraft would sit on its tail.

It then became known that the replacement crew could not get out of JFK, about 5 hours after landing the passengers were permitted to disembark. When passengers queried what about the horses, they were told, the balance had been recalculated in Amsterdam and it was found out that the suitcases and cargo in the other holds would be sufficient to balance the horses out. Everyone finally got to hotels at about 04:00L. The aircraft continued the journey to New York after 24 hours on the ground in St. John's and reached JFK with a delay of 25 hours.

Incident: KLM B744 over Atlantic on Feb 25th 2017, captain incapacitated
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Old 7th Mar 2017, 10:00
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Horses would be on the main deck. Must be a Combi.
Would be a bit disconcerting for the pax when they stamp their hooves - you can feel it through the fuselage.
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Old 7th Mar 2017, 10:20
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Must be a Combi.
Guess so, been a while but I seem to recall all sorts of rules in the flying manuals about carriage of horses on the old 747-100, 200 combis ( e.g; need for handlers, options if the horse literally starts kicking off, etc )............

Times certainly have changed if you can stick 9 of them unsupervised in the underfloor "aft cargo hold".

Last edited by wiggy; 7th Mar 2017 at 10:35.
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Old 7th Mar 2017, 10:45
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I thought that flying horses had to be accompanied by a vet carrying a humane killer in case they literally kicked off. A friend who transported a horse in his furniture van (dropdown loading ramp) was shocked by a series of terrific bangs in the back. The horse had put one hoof straight through the alloy side of the vehicle, fallen on its side and flailed about in panic to such an extent it had to be destroyed due to its injuries.
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Old 7th Mar 2017, 10:49
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I thought that flying horses had to be accompanied by a vet carrying a humane killer in case they literally kicked off.
Yep, the humane killer was certainly mentioned in the old "long long time ago" combi manuals for the early 74's, can't remember if we needed a vet to be carried or if the Groom/handler/PIC would end up being responsible for use thereof (I never operated a flight carrying horses).
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Old 7th Mar 2017, 11:04
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Always carried grooms and captive bolt humane killer but not a vet. Never clearly understood how a captive bolt device could have been accurately applied to the correct spot on the head of a horse going nuts in its box
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Old 7th Mar 2017, 13:17
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Captive Bolt Use.

Glad the Captain appears to have survived okay.

I have flown horses (among other animals) all over the world on dedicated freighters. The captive bolt pistol (in its carrying case) was always issued to the Captain and after literally hundreds of flights never had cause to hand it to a groom to use. The grooms seem to love and care for their charges and normally had the ability to keep them completely calm.

I can only recall one flight where a racehorse "kicked off" but the (very good) KLM pens have good solid sides and although it was noisy there was no need risk of damage to the aircraft, the groom did calm the horse in time. I have never carried horses without grooms in attendance.

Such was the care given by the grooms I could not envisage a groom actually using a captive bolt on his charge.

We never carried vets - the animals were only inspected by vets prior departure and after (each) landing.
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Old 7th Mar 2017, 15:08
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I recently saw a PBS program that showed horses being off-loaded in Hong Kong. Each horse had his/her own cargo container that was configured like a stable stall.
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Old 7th Mar 2017, 15:29
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Bit dubious about this "nine horses" 744combi only has 7 pallet positions, unless they were carrying foals which is a little dodgy.
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Old 7th Mar 2017, 18:25
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hmm surprised that the 747 combi is still operated - thought it was pretty much retired as regulations would render mixed (pax + freight) operations very complex. I quick web search seems to indicate that KLM is pretty much the only major operator.

Last edited by atakacs; 7th Mar 2017 at 19:50.
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Old 8th Mar 2017, 12:52
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OK, a little misinformation here. PH-BFT is indeed a combi, the horses were not under floor but on the main deck, hence the need for a high-loader for which St. John's possibly lacks. Or, possibly, the horses could not disembark due to quarantine regulations. KLM sends trained animal attendants on every flight with horses, so they would be the ones to take necessary action in case of disruptive behaviour. And although the aircraft has seven pallet positions, it can hold a lot more horses than that because you can fit more than one horse in each stall - nine is by no means unusual.
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Old 8th Mar 2017, 13:04
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Horses are often flown from the middle east to Ireland for the summer months.
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Old 8th Mar 2017, 13:17
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Originally Posted by Long Haul
OK, a little misinformation here. PH-BFT is indeed a combi, the horses were not under floor but on the main deck
Other than the OP's quote from Avherald, I don't think anyone is seriously suggesting that KLM, or indeed any airline, carries horses in the baggage hold.
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Old 8th Mar 2017, 20:13
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Carried high dollar horses in a prior job. They would build up stalls on an 88x125 inch pallet. Could either split it with 2 horses per pallet or have two dividers for 3 horses per position. In theory 21 horses on a 727 with a seating area for 18 grooms, handlers, hot walkers and owners aft.
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Old 8th Mar 2017, 22:39
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What was going to happen at JFK? The passengers would have to sit down until the horses were unloaded? I smell nonsense....
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Old 8th Mar 2017, 23:50
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Easy. Tailsteady.
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Old 9th Mar 2017, 02:38
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What was going to happen at JFK? The passengers would have to sit down until the horses were unloaded? I smell nonsense....
They usually install a pogo stick under the tail!
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Old 9th Mar 2017, 04:16
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I think banana can take the peg of his nose, FWIW there is slightly more on the subject here

Use Of Jack-stands For 747? - Airliners.net

It is very common to see jackstands under the back end of 747s combos and freighters when parked on the ramp.
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Old 9th Mar 2017, 08:27
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What was going to happen at JFK? The passengers would have to sit down until the horses were unloaded? I smell nonsense....
Absolutely a possibility. I have experienced this situation (although rarely) with the combi. The passenger doors are left closed after parking until one or 2 pallets are off-loaded. This will sometimes have to be done when the dead load MAC is critical.

As far as the number of horses involved, KLM will put 3 horses side by side in a pallet-sized horse box. If the horses are small enough, sometimes a fourth horse is placed laterally behind them giving you 4 per box.

I have carried 20+ polo ponies from Buenos Aires on the combi this manner, without problem.
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Old 9th Mar 2017, 08:42
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Once carried a race horse to the German GP in Baden-Baden. Him and his mate, that is, an old nag which couldn't run a hundred yards if his life depended on it, but it was a good mate of the racer and kept him calm during the flight.

The single horse, and it's mate, was accompanied by an entourage of 10-odd staff, including the trainer, the vet, the vet's assistant, 4 grooms and 2 bodyguards. The vet gave us the briefing on the humane killer along these lines: 'That horse is worth more than the aircraft we're flying in. You will not apply the human killer. If he kicks off, dump the cabin pressure and put him to sleep - the rest of us will go on portable oxygen'.

Bit dubious about this "nine horses" 744combi only has 7 pallet positions, unless they were carrying foals which is a little dodgy.
You can load up to 3 horses side-by-side in a 125/96 horsestall, for a total of 21 horses in a Combi.
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