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Python Clings to Plane Wing on Qantas Flight

Jan 13, 2013 06:56 AM EST

Passengers on a Qantas flight, bound to the Papua New Guinean capital of Port Moresby, were stunned to see a scrub python clinging on to the plane's wing and battling for life.

The 10-foot long python was first spotted by a woman on the QF191 flight that took off early Thursday morning from Australia's northeastern city of Cairns.

Twenty minutes after the take off, the woman noticed the snake and pointed it out to other passengers and the cabin crew in the flight. The incident reminded us of the 2006 movie "Snakes on a Plane."

However, unlike in the film, the 40 passengers and the four cabin crew did not face any danger inside the aircraft. Instead, they helplessly watched the non-poisonous snake trying to get a grip for the whole 1 hour 50 minutes flight. It somehow managed to cling on to the plane's wing throughout the trip, but was found dead on arrival at Port Moresby, where the plane landed.

"The people at the front were oblivious to what was going on but the passengers at the back were all totally focused on the snake and how it might have got on to the aircraft," passenger Robert Weber, a website designer in Cairns, told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"There was no panic. At no time did anyone stop to consider that there might be others on board."

The wind speed was 250mph (400km/h) and the temperature was -12C. The wind thrashed the snake against the side of the plane, leaving a bloody smear on the white paint, reports BBC.

"It appears as though the snake has initially crawled up inside the landing bay, maybe housed himself in there, and then crawled into the trailing ledge flap assembly," Paul Cousins, president of the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association, said.

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