Life imitates campy horror movies: An Australian pilot was forced to make an emergency landing on Tuesday after alerting air traffic control that he had snakes on his plane.
"Look, you're not going to believe this," Braden Blennerhassett, the pilot, said during the emergency call. "I've got snakes on a plane."
According to Australia's Nine News, Blennerhassett made the Samuel L. Jackson-like distress call after discovering a snake on the floor of the cockpit shortly after takeoff. The Air Frontier flight from Darwin to Peppimenarti landed safely back in Darwin.
"Sure enough, out of the corner of my eye, I see a little bit of movement there," Blennerhassett told Australia's ABC News. "Lo and behold, in between the instrument panel and the dashboard, a stow away came on board and it took me a while to register that it was actually a snake."
And then the company got a little more intimate. "My blood pressure and heart rate was a bit elevated," Blennerhassett added in an interview with Nine News. "As the plane was landing the snake was crawling down my leg, which was frightening."
After landing the plane, Blennerhassett and a local firefighter discovered the snake and a green tree frog, though both disappeared before a wildlife ranger arrived.
The ranger, Sally Heaton, said the snake was likely a golden tree snake and "may have been enticed onto the plane by the frog."
Blennerhassett said the plane would be grounded "until we find the snake."
According to EcologyAsia.com, golden tree snakes, or Chrysopelea ornata, are nonvenemous, can grow up to 5 feet (or 1.5 meters) long and are "able to glide through the air."
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