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Feline frenzy as cat creeps in cockpit


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Feline frenzy as cat creeps in cockpit, causing emergency landing in Brussels

Canadian Press

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

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BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) - An SN Brussels airliner made an emergency landing after an "agitated" passenger - a cat - got into the cockpit and attacked the co-pilot, the airline said Tuesday.

The Monday flight from Brussels to Vienna, Austria, had been in the air about 20 minutes when it was noticed that a passenger's pet had escaped from its cage, "although it is not yet clear how," according to an airline statement.

"Once free, the animal proceeded to wander around the cabin," slipping into the cockpit when meals were being delivered to the two-man flight crew, it said.

"At this stage the animal became agitated and nervous," the statement said. An airline spokeswoman added that the cat scratched the co-pilot's arm.

The pilot decided to return to Brussels as a precaution, and the 58 passengers left Brussels two hours later on another flight.

The cat had been checked in Oslo, Norway, in an internationally approved "flight transport bag," but the airline said it may end up changing its procedures for pets in the cabin once it concludes its investigation.

"At no time throughout the incident was the passengers' security affected in any way," the airline said.

© The Canadian Press 2004

canada.com

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