|Welcome aboard the Flying Kangaroo and experience the tragedy of the 3-meter python
Passengers on a flight of troubled Australian carrier Qantas, which has endured several embarrassing dramas including drunk pilots, explosions and cockpit quarrels, watched in amazement as a three-meter python clung to the wing during a flight.
The loss-making carrier, known as the Flying Kangaroo, said the flight from the Queensland city of Cairns to Port Moresby, capital of Papua New Guinea, took off early last morning with the snake.
“The snake was seen by passengers once [the plane] reached cruising altitude,'' a Qantas spokesman told AFP. “It was still on the aircraft when it arrived in Port Moresby but it had died by that stage.’’
Once they noticed it on the wing, passengers watched as the reptile engaged in a life-and-death struggle to maintain its grip on the plane despite the winds and chilly altitude temperatures for the two-hour journey.
Passenger Robert Weber told Fairfax Media today that while people at the front of the plane were unaware of the python, those at the back were “all totally focused on the snake and how it might have got onto the aircraft.’’.
The president of the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association, Paul Cousins, told a community paper, the python may have crawled up into the landing bay and crawled into the trailing ledge flap assembly.
Last year, the Flying Kangaroo had to deal with a near collision, an inebriated female captain on a Boeing 767-300 flight from Sydney to Brisbane, grounded six planes following a mid-air blast which ripped a hole in a Boeing, and two pilots who quarrelled in the cockpit of a Boeing 747 at Dallas airport.