Flying bat inside plane at 42,000ft forces jet into emergency landing

Passengers were alarmed after an Indian fruit bat was discovered flying around an airplane before forcing it to make an emergency landing.

Footage of the bizarre incident shows the bat floating through the plane on Thursday last week.

The Air India flight from Delhi (India) to Newark (USA) took off at 2:20 a.m.

The bat was spotted on the Boeing 777 passenger jet just 30 minutes after the 15-hour flight began.

The passengers twisted and turned to keep an eye on the bat circling the cabin.

The flight captain informed air traffic control about their additional passenger.

The aircraft was advised to turn around and make an emergency landing.

The plane had to drain $ 300,000 (£ 211,605) worth of fuel before returning to Indira Gandhi International Airport.

It landed safely and stunned passengers were back on the ground in the Indian capital at 3.55 a.m.

Wildlife experts got on the plane to retrieve the bat – but it was found dead in the business class section.

The bat’s lifeless body was removed and the plane fumigated.

A spokesman for the Directorate-General for Civil Aviation in India said: “The bat was found dead on the plane.”

This is believed to be the first time a live bat has been found on an Air India flight.

Air India plane

The airline has asked the engineering team on the B777-300ER aircraft for a detailed report.

An Air India official said the bat could have sneaked onto the plane from a catering vehicle.

They said, “Mammals like this have the ability to get in from third-party vehicles such as catering vehicles.”

The Indian fruit bat, also known as the larger Indian fruit bat, is one of the largest in the world, with a wingspan of 1.2 to 1.5 feet.


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