Pilot Discovers Surprise Passenger on Plane: a Snake!
04/06/2012 AT 01:30 PM EDT
A 26-year-old pilot for Air Frontier airlines could have used the Snakes on a Plane actor Tuesday when a snake popped out from under the dashboard of the cargo plane he was flying and slithered across his leg.
The hissing creature introduced itself to Braden Blennerhassett shortly after the twin-engine Beechcraft Baron G58 took off from Australia's Darwin airport, according to the Associated Press. The quick-thinking pilot remained calm and made the decision to return to the airport.
Described as a "cool character" by Air Frontier director Geoff Hunt, Blennerhassett radioed air traffic control and said: "I'm going to have to return to Darwin. I've got a snake on board the plane."
Blennerhassett said it was tough remaining calm in such a horrifying situation. "You're trying to be as still as you possibly can, and when you've got your hands on the power levers," he told ABC, "you're kind of worried about the snake taking that as a threat and biting you."
Just like the 2006 thriller, things got worse toward the end of the flight. "As the plane was landing, the snake was crawling down my leg, which was frightening," he said.
While the reptile is still at large, a wildlife expert told the AP it was likely a golden tree snake, a nonvenomous species that can grow up to 5-ft. long.