“I felt a cold sensation, something crawled up my shirt,” said the South African. Rudolph Erasmus on the exact moment when a cobra grazed his body while he was piloting a plane. He thought what gave him the creeps was water dripping from a bottle that hadn’t closed properly, but no.
On Monday, the pilot had an experience similar to the one Samuel L. Jackson had in the 2006 film Terror on board (Snakes on a plane). A dangerous cobra appeared in the small twin-engine Beechcraft Baron 58 aircraft he was flying and forced him to make an emergency landing.
Erasmus was with 4 passengers when he discovered the Cape cobra under his seat, a snake with enough venom to kill 9 people at once and one in just 30 minutes. Before breaking the news to those traveling with him, he had to think it over..
Afraid that the cobra would bite him or go behind and make a mess, but trying to stay calm so as not to make the situation worse, the pilot finally reported: “Listen, the snake is inside the plane. It’s under my seat, so let’s get off the ground as soon as possible.”.
The passengers were completely silent.. “You could hear a needle drop and I think everyone froze for a moment or two,” Erasmus told the BBC.
As a result, the South African made an emergency landing on his flight from Bloemfontein to Pretoria, in the city of Welkom. There they all got off in time without sustaining any injuries.
And the cobra? She was still curled up under the seat. When a snake expert passenger tried to grab it, the animal disappeared from sight.
Before reboarding the plane, Erasmus made sure that the cobra was not yet inside the vehicle. “It wasn’t there, so we all safely assume it must have crept in during the night or earlier that morning, which was Monday.”
When the journey was completed, the serpent still did not appear even though Erasmus had dismantled the plane.
About the time he spotted the cobra, the pilot said, “When I turned left and looked down, I saw the cobra throw its head back under the seat.”
“To be honest, it’s like my brain didn’t register what was happening. It was a moment of wonder,” he added.
For his actions, the South African was recognized by his country’s civil aviation commissioner, poppy khosawho praised her “great flying capabilities which saved all lives on board”, according to the News24 website.
“I think that’s a bit of an exaggeration if I may be direct. It was also my passengers who kept their cool,” concluded our own Samuel L. Jackson.
Mary Ortiz is a seasoned journalist with a passion for world events. As a writer for News Rebeat, she brings a fresh perspective to the latest global happenings and provides in-depth coverage that offers a deeper understanding of the world around us.