Rat on a plane: 200 passengers evacuated after rodent found on transatlantic flight
February 27 2010, Travel News
The Boeing 767, bound for London Heathrow from Canada, was waiting to taxi down the runway when a passenger spotted the rodent in an overhead locker.
The captain of Air Canada flight AC888 ordered all 205 passengers off the plane so a pest control team could try to catch the rat.
But despite an intensive search, the rodent could not be found. The flight was cancelled and passengers spent the night at a hotel near Ottawa’s McDonald-Cartier international airport.
It is the latest in a series of animal scares on planes. Last April a Qantas flight was grounded in Australia after four python snakes escaped from a cage in scenes reminiscent of the 2006 spoof horror film Snakes on a Plane.
In October a packed jet from New York to Heathrow was halted on the runway after a mouse ran through the cabin.
From the above evidence it is clear that mice and other rodents are a significant danger to aircraft as they have a tendency to nibble through vital cabling. After a rat was discovered aboard an Air India Ltd. plane at the Delhi airport, a spokesman for the country’s state-owned flag carrier said rodent stowaways are a “rare occurrence.” If only that were true. In fact, rats and other pests often find their way onto jetliners in India and around the world.
With thousands of flights each day handling large quantities of food for passengers as well as baggage, rodents sometimes manage to hitch a ride on food catering trucks or luggage trollies to get inside planes despite hygiene checks. Rodents are blessed with two pairs of incisors which grow continuously. In order to keep these ever growing incisors in check rodents need to gnaw on something hard. Thus these notorious pests gnaw through the outer polymeric sheathing of wires and cables due to their smooth texture, bright color and sweet odor.
Let us look at some other glaring evidences pertaining to the absolute kiosk rats cause onboard.
On December 2015, an Air India plane flying to London was forced to turn back after passengers spotted a rodent on board. Although the rat was not found, the pilot returned to Mumbai with passenger safety in mind. In another similar incident that occurred on on August 2014, an aircraft carrying 200 passengers overrun with stowaway rodents was grounded amid fears they would chew through electrical wires . The aircraft’s crew noticed the rodent stowaways scurrying free in the rear half of the cabin as the plane, carrying about 200 passengers and staff, landed at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport from Calcutta. After the flight landed safely and pulled up to the gate, the crew cleared everyone off the Airbus and had it taken out of service, the Times of India reported. An unnamed official told the Times of India: ‘Rats on board an aircraft can lead to a catastrophe if they start chewing up electric wires of a fly by wire plane. ‘If that happens, pilots will have no control on any system on board leading to a disaster.’ Also on August 28 2016, a tiny rat delayed an Air France flight for two days. It took several hours to remove the unwanted passenger from the flight bound for the French capital. By the time the stowaway had been expelled, the cabin crew had reached the maximum time they are permitted to work to avoid fatigue. The flight was delayed by 48 hours
So is there any solution for this rodent menace?? Do tedious processes like fumigation and use of rodent traps really help? The reality is that these conventional methods are proving to be ineffective in managing the rodents. Fumigating an aircraft isn’t easy. The plane needs to be isolated, sealed and then pumped full of lethal gas. After about six hours, the aircraft is ventilated to clear the toxic fumes.
So the question is what can be done to discourage these notorious rodents from causing further on-board damages.
We at C Tech Corporation have come up with a solution for this problem. Our product Rodrepel™ is an extremely low toxic, non-hazardous rodent aversive. This product acts through a series of highly developed intricate mechanism ensuring that rodents are kept away from the target application. The product is compliant with RoHS, RoHS2, and REACH and is FIFRA exempted. We do not aim at disturbing the ecosystem designed by nature. Our non hazardous eco-friendly products do not kill the target species but only repel them.
The products are available in the form of solid masterbatches which can be incorporated as a polymer additive in the sheathing of wires and cables used in various sensitive equipments in an airplane to make it rodent resistant. Also the food lockers and other vulnerable areas to damage can be coated with our lacquer based solutions. Our products have a long shelf life. Thus Rodrepel™ is definitely an effective solution for controlling and managing the problems and threat posed by rodents in airplanes.