Plane forced to return to JFK Airport after horse on board gets loose


(NEW YORK) — A 747 cargo plane heading to Belgium from New York was forced to return to John F. Kennedy International Airport after a horse escaped from its stall, according to the air traffic control audio.

According to the audio clip, which was obtained by You Can See ATC via Live ATC, the horse got loose within 30 minutes of takeoff.

The Boeing 747 was barely at 31,000 feet when a pilot told air traffic control that a horse had escaped from its stall and that they needed to return to JFK on Thursday, according to FlightRadar24.

In the air traffic control audio, a pilot is heard saying, “We are a cargo plane with a live animal, a horse, on board. The horse managed to escape its stall. There’s no issue with flying, but we need to go back to New York as we can’t resecure the horse.”

The flight was forced to make a U-turn off the coast of Boston and dump about 20 tons of fuel over the Atlantic, “10 miles west of Martha’s Vinyard,” due to the flight’s weight, according to the audio.

Amid the fuel dump, the pilot requested a veterinarian to be present at JFK when the plane arrived.

Once landed, when ATC asked if the flight required assistance, “On the ground, negative. On the ramp, yes, we have a horse in problem.”

It remains unclear how the horse managed to escape but it remained unrestrained until the plane landed at JFK, according to the audio.

The flight was able to take off a short time later and successfully arrive at Liege Airport on Friday morning, according to FlightRadar24.

Air Atlanta Icelandic, the charter airline operating the flight, did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

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