Loose horse forces Air Atlanta to return to JFK


Filing Flight Plan
Oct 26, 2023
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Sorry I can’t post a link. They had to dump 20 tons of fuel before retuning to JFK.
Reminds me of the John Deakin story of the pig that got loose in a C-46

Hope they had some reins on that horse so someone could reign over him and rein him in so it would stop horsing around ... :rolleyes:

**I'll show myself out ...**
Yeah, it was a bit much ... but sometimes I have no tack and saddle myself with shame ...
Sadly the horse had to be euthanized when they arrived at JFK.
Reminds me of the John Deakin story of the pig that got loose in a C-46

Reminds me of Dick Francis stories
No sense beating this story to death. I just hope everyone can look this one in the teeth and be grateful for what we've learned. I hope the pilots were able to climb down from up high...
Why not just let him romp around to the destination? He would have calmed down eventually.
Why not just let him romp around to the destination? He would have calmed down eventually.
He was stuck on the container wall with front legs on one side and rear legs on the other. (I’d post a link but can’t). The weight of the horse hanging no doubt did extensive internal damage which caused the need for euthanasia.

I can’t imagine flying across an ocean with a 1200+ lb horse in a panic in the cargo area. I’m not a pilot but would hope if I was on a commercial flight with that situation the pilot would turn back as this one did.
We’d carry a handler when hauling horses. They would check on the horses after takeoff and then every couple hours on a longer flight. Once had a horse get a bit excited during offload. That flight had several handlers and two were holding his harness to keep him from rearing up and a third gave him a sedative. In less than a minute he was just standing still looking down. If they get their legs over the container wall they basically hang them self.
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When teaching W&B, I always included the consequences of exceeding both the forward and aft limits.

As an example of the former, I used a particular accident. I think it was at Miami International. A cargo plane was transporting cattle to South America. Apparently the cattle were not adequately constrained, and had wandered forward in the cargo area. As such, when the plane went to rotate, it couldn't, and ran off the end of the runway. It's been many decades, but I recall the most significant injury was one of the pilots losing a finger. I'll see if I can find any mention online.

I found this, likely the one I was thinking of:

Example 3: Exceedance of forward centre of gravity limit during take off

Convair 880, N5865, Air Trine, Miami International Airport, USA, 16/12/1976 (source: NLR Air Safety Database/NTSB)

The Convair 880 was loaded with a cargo of cows. Following an apparently normal take off run on Runway 09L reaching the rotation speed, the aircraft would not rotate despite repeated efforts by the crew including re-trimming the aircraft to the 'full nose-up' position. The pilot subsequently elected to abort the take off but was unable to bring the aircraft to a stop before the end of the runway. After leaving the runway, the aircraft passed over an area of soft ground, where its nose undercarriage collapsed, before falling into a wide drainage canal. The investigation determined that on take off the aircraft's centre of gravity was some 2.2% of the mean aerodynamic chord in front of the maximum forward limit, due to the way the aircraft had been loaded, and that the crew's weight and balance calculations bore no resemblance to the way the weight was actually distributed.
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When teaching W&B, I always included the consequences of exceeding both the forward and aft limits.
Back when I was getting into RC flying and building my first kit, my mentor warned me to stay within the balance limits specified for the plane. The way he phrased it was: "A model that's nose heavy flies poorly. A model that's tail heavy flies once."
Several of my fellow FFs from Miami Dade responded to the cattle crash. A few months ago they brought it up during our weekly get together at Duffy’s and there were some classic stories with that one. The planes did depart the end of the runway still on the ground but didn’t have enough room to stop before the canal. There were some very funny stories about that one from the responding crews. It was a big enough event that at least 4-5 of our average 20-25 Duffy’s retirees were on that call! One was a chief ordering a FF into the plane well into the incident response. They had already heavily foamed the plane and surrounding area when the less than forward thinking Jefe decided upon this course of action. The FF was fully bunkered out and had on his SCBA and mask and under protest headed towards the plane. Upon reaching where the undercarriage had drug its way from grass to canal he disappeared straight down. Slowly a fire helmet rose back up from below the foam, his fellow crew helped him out and he didn’t have to say anything further to the chief( although he probably did knowing him)! I think from that point it was no longer an interior attack or response? Heading back to FL and will catch up with some of those guys Tuesday and see if I can get more of the story.
You learn from those whom went before you and it’s often what not to do. It is fun to hear a lot of the funny stories that help to push aside some of the sadness ( same as military and many other challenging careers) Didn’t used to have grief counseling and some of the psychological tricks and tips which hopefully now will make a difference in the suicide rate of many of these difficult careers. There are many careers that pushed people beyond their breaking point and we lose people after they’ve retired and should be able to enjoy the fruits of their labors and sacrifices. If any of y’all think about it, call or stop by that neighbor who’s now living by his self and check on them. We lost some of our very best FFs months after they retired and we always wonder if one of us had reached out further if it could have made a difference? Some married with families, some millionaires who didn’t have to worry about finances who for some reason didn’t cope with retirement of even still working: the challenges of the job?
Not being morbid but POA is such a good far-reaching group that I thought I would broach the subject. Our members help people with all kinds of advice, (even unsolicited) and could easily make a life-changing difference without even realizing how far a little caring and attention may go…
Happy Thanksgiving holidays to all and safe travels for those who are able to share holidays with friends and famil!