South African Pilot Safely Lands Plane After Venomous Cobra Spotted on His Back

Fri Apr 07 2023
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ISLAMABAD: A South African pilot has been hailed as a hero after safely landing a small private aircraft with a venomous Cape Cobra snake crawling on his back.

Rudolf Erasmus was flying from Bloemfontein to Pretoria with four passengers when he felt the snake moving across his back mid-flight.

Despite the danger, Erasmus kept his composure and made an emergency landing in Welkom without incident.

The South African Civil Aviation Authority praised Erasmus for his bravery in handling the situation.

SACAA director Poppy Khoza called him an “aviation safety ambassador of the highest order” and congratulated him on his “courageous steps” in landing the plane safely.

Erasmus recounted the harrowing experience to local media, saying he initially thought the cold sensation on his back was his water bottle.

“But then I realized it was something else, and (so I) didn’t move,” he told the News24 outlet.

Cape cobras in South African states

Cape cobras are found mainly in southwestern South Africa and have a potentially deadly neurotoxic venom that requires immediate treatment with an anti-venom.

The incident highlights the potential dangers faced by pilots and underscores the importance of remaining calm and focused in emergency situations.

Erasmus’ quick thinking and skillful handling of the situation likely saved the lives of all on board the aircraft.

The story has garnered great attention on social media, with many commending Erasmus for his bravery and sharing messages of support.

The incident also serves as a reminder of the unique challenges faced by pilots and the critical role they play in ensuring safe air travel.

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