Archive for Saturday, August 25, 2007

Gray rat snake turns up in cockpit

August 25, 2007

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— It was no movie moment when a physician, flying himself across Mississippi in a one-seat plane, discovered a stowaway - a gray rat snake.

Dr. Ed Carruth discovered the snake on a plane when it began "licking" his arm Thursday, he told The Daily Leader of Brookhaven.

"I've been flying planes for 50 years and over 14,000 hours, and this is the most unusual in-flight emergency I've encountered," he said. "I guess it wasn't exactly an emergency, but I did almost hurt myself when I saw it."

Needing to fly the plane and lacking tools to get rid of the snake, "I did some aerobatics," Carruth said. "And once he got oriented, he went to the back of the plane."

When Carruth arrived at Brookhaven Municipal Airport after his flight from Meridian, officials called a snake expert to remove the reptile. It's not uncommon for snakes to live in airplane hangars, said Joey Pradillo, the expert.

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