An Air Canada pilot diverted a flight to save a dog in jeopardy that was traveling in the cargo hold of the plane when the heater malfunctioned. This is one hero pilot in the eyes of animal lovers worldwide today.
The pilot was on an International flight that departed from Israel and was headed for Canada when he diverted the flight to Germany once learning that the heater in the cargo hold went on the fritz. The dog could have been exposed to fatally cold temperatures on that long ocean-crossing flight.
According to ABC News on September 16, the Air Canada flight had too far to go for a dog to stay alive in a freezing cold cargo hold once the heater went out. Fearing that Simba the French bulldog would die, the pilot diverted the Boeing 787 to Frankfort, Germany.
The owner of the dog, German Kontorovich, was in the plane’s passenger cabin when the pilot decided to make the call to save Simba. Kontorovich was more than grateful, saying his dog was like his child. The dog is “everything to me,” said the very happy and thankful pet owner when he spoke with the media upon landing, according to CNN News.
The inconvenience the 232 passengers was met with a positive reaction, especially once they found out that a dog would have been in jeopardy if the pilot hadn’t diverted the plane to Germany. When all was said and done, it caused the passengers about a 75 minute delay when getting to their destination in Canada.
The airport the pilot diverted to has several Air Canada Flights that depart daily, so putting the dog on another Air Canada flight was fairly easy to do. The airport also has a reputation for turning flights around quickly and that is how it played out for Air Canada Flight 84 from Tel Aviv to Toronto.
Simba the dog is 7-years-old and thankfully totally unaware of what he might have been facing. He was put on another flight, where he’d be kept warm and safe during his journey to Canada. As aviation expert Phyl Durby told the media, “The captain is responsible for all lives on board.” That includes Simba the dog!