Pilot lands plane with rogue snake in one hand
Man grabs unwanted 4.5-foot co-pilot behind head, gets quick clearance
The Associated Press
Updated: 1:31 p.m. PT June 2, 2006
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The much-talked-about movie "Snakes on a Plane" doesn't open until August. But Monty Coles doesn't have to see it. He's lived it.
Three-thousand feet in the air on Saturday, he discovered a four-and-a-half-foot black snake peering out at him from the instrument panel of his Piper Cherokee.
He'd already been preparing to land in southern Ohio after a flight from West Virginia.
He tried to swat the snake. But it just fell to his feet under the rudder pedals and then darted to the other side of the cockpit.
So, while flying the plane with one hand, Coles grabbed the snake behind its head with his other hand, even as it coiled around his arm.
Next, he told the control tower he needed emergency landing clearance — and that he had "one hand full of snake and the other hand full of plane."
He says he was cleared right in.
Coles made a smooth landing, then posed for pictures with the snake, before letting it loose.