|Quoting DocLightning (Reply 6):|
If a few 15lb geese can down a US A320, imagine what a 30lb dog could do.
At least "Byrdie" can't fly!
But really, good point about the danger of wildlife to aircraft/passengers around airports. There are many documented cases of aircraft hitting wildlife on the ground during takeoff and landing, and the results could be potentially fatal. (I can think of a few deer-strike cases in the US alone...) Also, coyotes, wolves, foxes, and even bears have been known to wander onto airport property. They are usually seen by either pilots or ATC though, and airport ops can remove them from airport property (never dared to find out how, but hopefully not with force).
Anyways, back to the topic...
10 minutes of air traffic disruption doesn't seem too bad, but the story is vague in its details. But, very good for them to find the owner and escort him/her out there to retrieve the puppy. Probably the best way to do it, but I wonder how they found the owner so quickly? They must have still been parked at the gate for it to have run so smoothly. Maybe baggage handlers accidentally opened the kennel somehow while loading it? I'd like to see how they coordinated all of this to cause only 10 minutes of delays...maybe the dog was loose on an inactive runway? That said, 10 minutes of an active runway being close could back things up.
Sad. That's quite a list. Airlines are already hardly a place to handle checked baggage, much less animals. I have felt sorry for animals many of times, seeing them on freezing cold, windy ramps with loud noises for even a human (and dogs evidently have more sensitive hearing than humans...) Their owners either don't care, are desperate, or (hopefuly most commonly) oblivious and entrusting the airlines too much (as opposed to being negligent) for the conditions. Airlines handle pets, but really aren't the best at it. It's really up to the ramp crew working the flights, but even then, a pet could easily be neglected at an airline.
This happened on a relatively mild NYC day.