An Australian pilot was forced to make a dramatic landing after discovering a golden tree snake had popped out of his dashboard and began crawling around the cockpit and onto his leg.
Braden Blennerhassett said his heart was racing as he tried to keep his hand from shaking as he prepared to land in the Australian city of Darwin, reported the Associated Press. From behind an instrument panel, the snake kept popping its head out and began slithering on his leg as the plane made its final approach to the airport.
I've seen it on a movie once, but never in an airplane, Blennerhassett told Australian Broadcasting Corp., according to the AP, referring to the 2006 movie Snakes on a Plane, in which Samuel L. Jackson must defend airline passengers from deadly snakes during an assassination attempt.
The 26-year-old Air Frontier was alone in the twin-engine Beechcraft Baron G58 during a solo cargo run. He had just taken off when he spotted the reptile.
You're not going to believe this. I've got snakes on a plane, Blennerhassett told air traffic control when he felt the creature on his leg, reported NBC. He then told the airport he was going to have to make a return to the airport.
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My blood pressure and heart rate was a bit elevated -- it was an interesting experience, Blennerhassett told Nine News. As the plane was landing, the snake was crawling down my leg, which was frightening.
Once the plane landed, authorities began to investigate the plane. A firefighter discovered the snake, but authorities were unable to catch it right away. They set a trap using a mouse, but that did not trick the slithering pest. The snake was able to make an escape.
Wildlife ranger Sally Heaton believes the snake is a golden tree snake. It is non-venomous, but it has the ability to grow up to 5 feet, according to Nine News. Authorities also discovered a tree frog hiding out in the plane too.
They are unsure how the animals made their way inside the plane. The plane will remain grounded until authorities are able to retrieve the golden tree snake.
The airplane is in for maintenance at the moment, so it will be pulled apart and the snake will be found, Blennerhassett said, according to Nine News.
Blennerhassett said he was shaken during the incident.
You're trying to be as still as you possibly can and when you've got your hands on the power levers, he said according to the AP. You're kind of worried about the snake taking that as a threat and biting you.