Pilot Rudolf Erasmus was forced to make an emergency landing after a highly venomous Cape cobra stowed away on his plane. Erasmus was flying a Beechcraft Baron with four passengers from Worcester to Nelspruit when he felt a cold sensation near his hip. Thinking it was a dripping water bottle, he looked down and saw the snake slithering underneath his seat.
Erasmus knew that the Cape cobra is one of the most venomous snakes in Africa, and its bite can be fatal. He quickly informed his passengers of the situation, but he did so calmly in order to prevent panic. He then declared an emergency and made a safe landing near Welkom.
The passengers and Erasmus were able to exit the aircraft safely, but the snake’s location was still unknown. Despite efforts to locate and remove the snake, it disappeared inside the aircraft.
Erasmus’s quick thinking and calm demeanor prevented a tragedy. He is being hailed as a hero for his actions, and his story is a reminder of the importance of being prepared for the unexpected.
The incident also highlights the need for better safety measures in airports and on airplanes. Snakes are not uncommon in South Africa, and there have been other cases of snakes stowing away on planes. It is important for airports to have procedures in place to prevent snakes from entering the aircraft, and for pilots to be trained on how to handle these situations.
The tale of the Cape cobra’s flight is a reminder that even the most experienced pilots can be caught off guard by the unexpected. However, with quick thinking and calmness, it is possible to prevent tragedy.