As everyone knows, cows produce milk, calves, and copious quantities of methane gas -- and apparently also a great deal of humidity. It is a fact that really came home to the people at Koran Airlines and Heathrow airport in London when a jet made a mayday call and an emergency landing when the fire indicator light came on in mid-flight.
Maydays are the highest level of emergency calls and take precedence over all others. Such calls are made at the pilot's discretion. There is one Korean Air pilot who is most likely feeling a bit embarrassed about that these days after he made just such a call last month.
The problem was that there was no fire on board the jet. The problem was apparently that there were 300 cows on board. Experts believe that the false alarm was caused by the humidity emitted by the animals.
Cows and airplanes are not a natural mix.
Back in 2008 the pilot of a vintage Tiger Moth biplane was making an emergency landing in an empty field not long after take-off southwest of London. The field turned out to not be quite as empty as he had perceived. At the last moment a cow ambled into his path. With no time to change course, he hit the cow. The plane was only slightly damaged and the pilot and his passenger were unhurt. The cow got knocked over, but got up as though nothing had happened and began grazing again.
Laurie Kay Olson
Animal News Blogger