Python hitches ride on plane from Cairns to PNG
IT wasn't a scene from a Hollywood film when passengers on a Qantas flight from Cairns to Port Moresby saw a 3m snake clinging to the wing of their airborne plane.
The amethystine python scaled new heights when it hitched a ride on the aircraft.
But unlike Snakes on a Plane, the 2006 thriller, starring Samuel L. Jackson, there was no danger to anyone inside the Bombardier 400.
It was shortly after take-off when a passenger saw the snake and raised the alarm with the crew.
There was nothing anyone could do to help the stricken python which was in a wing flap mechanism just a short distance from Qantas' famous flying kangaroo logo. Altitude, freezing temperatures and high speedwere taking their toll.
Passengers could only watch as the animal's tail was whipped against the rear end of the plane, the impact leaving a trail of blood.
The python was dead on arrival when QF191 touched down at Port Moresby at 7.44am with 40 passengers and four crew on board.
- story John Andersen
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Winging it:The high-flying snake is snapped by a passenger on the plane.