Sunday, January 30, 2005

Wildlife Safari

During the take-off roll at a small international airport, the flying pilot said, "there's something crossing the runway," but did not abort the take off. The pilot-in-command was the non-flying pilot for this take-off, but, unable to see anything on the pavement ahead, did not call for an abort either.

The airplane became airborne without mishap. As they turned on route, one of the crew looked out a side window and saw the coyote that had just crossed the runway. It stood, unhurried, on a strip of pavement just outside the line of runway lights, looking intently at something in the long grass beside the runway. If this were a movie instead of real life, the bald eagle that glided by, a few metres from the coyote, would have to be added with CGI. But this is real life at a Canadian airport, so the eagle just happened to be there. Probably chasing rats, just like the coyote.

The pilots alerted the tower controller to the presence of the coyote, but didn't mention the eagle. Eagles are very common at that airport.

2 comments:

Will said...

Glad they didn't hit it. I've heard a couple of stories from northern Wisconsin about pilots hitting deer during takeoff or landing.

majroj said...

I could share a few intrusion stories, but the one I almost saw was sort of funny.

A snowy owl had taken to posting itself on a fencpost near the main intersection at Offutt AFB one winter. During weekend touch and goes, an E-4 (military airborne command and control Boeing 747) intersected with it as it glided serenely across the pavement. The plane stopped dead, two airman types ran back (!!!) and collected the evidence into a couple of big black trash bags before they ran to the plane, re-mounted, and then taxiied into their superhangar.