A cargo journey from New York to Belgium took an unexpected turn when a Boeing 747 had to return to John F Kennedy International Airport due to a loose horse on board. The incident occurred about 90 minutes into the flight, prompting the pilot of Air Atlanta Icelandic flight 4592 to inform air traffic control about the situation.
“We have a live animal, a horse, on board the airplane. The horse managed to escape,” the pilot reported. Despite efforts, the crew was unable to secure the unruly horse, leading to the decision to return to the departure airport. The pilot requested a veterinarian to meet the aircraft upon landing.
During the return journey, the plane had to dump 20 tonnes of fuel east of Nantucket to reduce weight. The horse, which had somehow freed itself from its stall, remained unrestrained upon landing. The pilot informed air traffic control about the situation on the ground, stating, “On the ramp, yes. We have a horse in problem, in difficulty.”
The specifics of how the horse managed to escape remain unclear. The flight eventually took off later the same day and safely reached Liege Airport on Friday morning. The purpose of transporting the horse remains unknown, and Air Atlanta Icelandic did not respond immediately to inquiries.
Experts suggest that the transportation of racehorses is a common reason for such cargo flights involving live animals.