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Too Many Animals on the Runway

Compiled/partly written by Melvin Durai Email Compiled/partly written by Melvin Durai
December 2014
Too Many Animals on the Runway

If you’re planning to fly to the Gujarat city of Surat anytime soon, perhaps you should hold off until the airport authorities have sorted out the animal situation.

The Surat airport, as you might have heard, is quite popular with the buffaloes and cows in the area. One of these buffaloes was killed last month when it strayed onto the runway and was hit by a SpiceJet plane attempting to take off.

Thankfully for the 170 passengers on board, the pilot was able to bring the plane to a stop without anyone getting hurt. The pilot deserves a lot of credit, especially since it’s unclear whether he or she ever underwent any training on how to handle animals on the runway.

Perhaps the final exam at flying school included this multiple-choice question: What should you do if a buffalo appears in the path of your aircraft? (A) Sound the horn; (B) Attempt to avoid it by turning sharply in any direction; (C) Apply the brakes; (D) Ask the co-pilot to take over, because you’ve obviously been drinking if you’re seeing a buffalo in your path.

You’ll be glad to know that officials from the Airports Authority of India were quick to investigate the buffalo accident. They visited Surat airport and were immediately greeted by two cows grazing beside the runway.

An airport parking attendant explained the cows’ presence to a Times of India reporter. “These stray cattle enter from the main gate, graze in the grounds, and go away,” he said. “Nobody drives them away.”

Compiled and partly written by Indian humorist MELVIN DURAI, author of the novel Bala Takes the Plunge.

[Comments? Contributions? We would love to hear from you about Chai Time. If you have contributions, please email us at melvin@melvindurai.com. We welcome jokes, quotes, online clips and more.]

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