Pilot Makes Emergency Landing After Finding A Cobra Slithering Over His Love Handles

Cape cobra South African snake

iStockphoto / Bahadur Ali

A pilot in South Africa will now forever be followed by Snakes On A Plane jokes after living through his own harrowing Samuel L. Jackson moment with a cobra on his flight.

The pilot was flying a private plane from the Western Cape in South Africa to Nelspruit in SA’s northeast when he felt a cold sensation and looked down to see a deadly cobra slithering over his love handles.

For anyone wondering, ‘love handles’ isn’t some obscure aviation vernacular. The South African pilot, Rudolf Erasmus, told NPR he “felt this little cold sensation underneath my shirt where my hip is situated — but basically where you’ve got your little love handles.”

Rudolf Erasmus added that he “turned to my left and looked down, I could see the head of the snake receding back underneath my seat. At which point there was a moment of stunned silence, to be brutally honest.”

For most people, preventing oneself from panicking in that situation would be extremely difficult. But the pilot was able to return the private plane back to the Western Cape airport and get everyone off the plane safely.

Erasmus told NPR he was “was more afraid of what the snake might do. Luckily it didn’t strike anyone, otherwise that would have changed or complicated the whole situation.”

What’s wild is after the plane landed the snake disappeared. Nobody saw it slither onto the plane and the plane has since been scoured completely and the snake is gone.

The snake was a Cape Cobra, the ‘most toxic cobra’ species in Africa.

Cape Cobras can reach up to 5.2 feet in length. The longest one ever measured was 6.2 feet. And this South African cobra species ‘strikes when threatened’, as is the cast with many snakes.

The biggest concern with this South African cobra species is, however, it can deliver a bite that leads to death within an hour if antivenom isn’t received.

A quick search on Google about this story reveals that virtually everyone on planet earth is making Snakes On A Plane comparisons right now. So I’ll spare of that you aside from the Samuel L. Jackson mention above.

The South African Cape Cobra’s most feared predator is the Honey Badger. Many of you might know the honey badger from that viral video years ago. But here is footage of how quickly a honey badger can take out this South African cobra in the bush:

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