A Boeing 747 en route from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport to Liege, Belgium, was forced to turn around on November 9 after a horse got loose in the cargo hold, CNN reported.
The cargo flight operated by charter airline Air Atlanta Icelandic had climbed to around 31,000 feet when the crew contacted Air Traffic Control in Boston to report that the horse had escaped from its stall.
One of the pilots in a video reconstruction by YouTube said: "We don't have a problem (...) flying-wise. You Can See ATC," but "we cannot get the horse back secured."
In the recordings, Air Traffic Control can be heard granting the pilots' request to return to JFK Airport and, because the plane was too heavy, to dump 20 tons of fuel east of Nantucket.
The pilot also asks for a veterinarian to meet the plane upon landing, because "we have a horse in difficulty."
An Air Atlanta Icelandic representative told CNN that the information in the "You Can See ATC" video is correct.
The flight history on tracking site FlightRadar24.com shows that, following the diversion, the plane was able to take off again some three hours behind schedule.
It landed in Liege at 6.49am. local time on the morning of November 10, as per CNN.
In October 2023, an otter and a rat were reported to have caused uproar after escaping from hand luggage on a VietJet flight from Bangkok, while a bear cub broke loose from its crate on a flight from Baghdad to Dubai while passengers were on board.