Cobra in the Cockpit: Pilot Called a Hero


South African pilot Rudolf Erasmus said, “I felt this little cold sensation underneath my shirt where my hip is situated —  basically around my private area,” he said.

When he looked down, the pilot was surprised to see a highly venomous Cape Cobra under his seat. Erasmus felt the slithering stowaway as he was piloting a private flight from South Africa’s Western Cape to the northeastern town of Nelspruit.

Erasmus decided to make an emergency landing at the closest airport of Welkom.

He informed the passengers on the small aircraft that there’s an unwanted slithery stowaway, and  everybody remained calm, There was a reason for concern as a Cape Cobra bite venomous can be deadly.

The incident has drawn comparisons to the cult 2006 film Snakes on a Plane, in which an FBI agent played by Samuel L. Jackson lets loose an expletive-laden tirade when he discovers the plane he’s on is full of venomous snakes.

Erasmus says he’d seen the movie and the tirade was playing out inside his own head.

Since landing, however, the snake sneaked off, having boarded and also disembarked on his own terms, even evading airport security.