A horse loose on a flight to Belgium forces cargo jet back to New York

NEW YORK (AP) — A cargo jet headed to Belgium from New York had to turn around mid-flight after a horse escaped its stall and got loose in the hold, according to air traffic control audio.

The Boeing 747 operated by Air Atlanta Icelandic had just started its flight across the Atlantic Ocean on Nov. 9 when the pilot radioed air traffic control in Boston and said that a horse on board had escaped its stall.

“We don’t have a problem as of flying-wise but we need to return, return back to New York. We cannot get the horse back secured,” the pilot said on air traffic control recordings made by the site LiveATC.net and compiled by the site You Can See ATC.

The controller cleared the aircraft to return to John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The pilot said that due to the plane’s weight, he had to dump 20 tons of fuel before going back to New York.

The controller gave the OK and alerted nearby pilots about a “fuel dumping in progress approximately 10 miles west of Martha’s Vineyard.”

The 747 pilot had one more request. “I do believe we need a vet — veterinarian, I guess you call it, for the horse upon landing,” he said. “Is that something you can speak to New York about?”

The controller said he would pass it on.

The cargo flight disruption was first reported by ABC News. The flight landed at Kennedy, took off a short time later and successfully arrived at Liege Airport the next morning, according to the tracking site FlightRadar24.

A message seeking comment was sent to Air Atlanta Icelandic.