Snake on a plane compels Aussie pilot to turn back

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CANBERRA, Australia (AP) -- An airline executive says a pilot on a cargo run found a snake loose in his light plane and turned back to his north Australian base.

In a scene reminiscent of the 2006 movie "Snakes on a Plane," pilot Braden Blennerhassett saw the snake's head pop out from under the dashboard of his twin-engine Beechcraft Baron G58 shortly after takeoff from Darwin airport on Tuesday.

Air Frontier director Geoff Hunt said Thursday that his employee was a "cool character" who told air traffic control: "I'm going to have to return to Darwin. I've got a snake on board the plane."

The reptile quickly slithered away. A snake handler was later unable to find the snake, which might have escaped after the plane landed. The snake's species is not known.