BROOKHAVEN, Miss. — It was no movie moment when a physician, flying himself across Mississippi in a one-seat plane, discovered a stowaway — a gray rat snake.
Dr. Ed Carruth discovered the snake when it began “licking” his arm Thursday, he said.
“I’ve been flying planes for 50 years and over 14,000 hours, and this is the most unusual in-flight emergency I’ve encountered,” he said. “I guess it wasn’t exactly an emergency, but I did almost hurt myself when I saw it.”
Needing to fly the plane and lacking tools to get rid of the snake, “I did some aerobatics,” Carruth said. “And once he got oriented, he went to the back of the plane.”
When Carruth arrived at Brookhaven Municipal Airport after his flight from Meridian, officials called a snake expert to remove the reptile. It’s not uncommon for snakes to live in airplane hangars, said Joey Pradillo, the expert.
“The snakes are in there after the mice. And the hangar is cool on the inside, and that’s why he was in there in the first place,” he said. Pradillo released the snake into the wild.