July 2011 - death
Parent Category: Air Travel Pet Incident Reports
Date of Incident: July 25, 2011
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Routing: Pensacola, FL (PNS) – Atlanta, GA (ATL) – Baltimore, MN (BWI) – Flight 1425
Description of Animal: According to health certificate issued by the military veterinarian, the animal was a 6 year old female, yellow Labrador Retriever named “Katie”
Description of Incident: Katie was accepted for transport on July 25, 2011, for travel from PNS to ATL on board DL1078. All documents were reviewed and processed in accordance with Delta’s live animal procedures. The flight departed PNS on time at 0730 and arrived into ATL on schedule at 0945. The weather forecast in PNS was between 75F and 80F degrees with scattered clouds. Upon arrival of Katie’s flight into ATL, she was removed from DL1078 and placed inside a temperature-controlled van to await her next flight from ATL to BWI. DL1425, which was originally scheduled to depart ATL at 1350 encountered delays because of weather conditions at BWI. At approximately 1343, the crew received instructions from the Tower and took its assigned position on the tarmac. During the first delay, the Captain and ground crew were informed the delay would only be brief. By 1548, approximately two hours later, the Captain was instructed to return to the gate area. At 1733, the crew were again given instructions for the flight to depart. By 1946, they were advised of yet another ground stop, this time resulting in a complete cancellation of DL1425. On return to the gate, our ground handlers opened the cargo bin door only to discover Katie was non-responsive inside her kennel.
Cause of Incident: Unknown at this time. As of this reporting, we are still awaiting the results from Katie’s necropsy report.
Corrective Action Taken: During the first occurrence, we failed to open the cargo bin door because the Tower informed us there would only be a short-term delay for DL1425. As a result of the animal’s death, our Load Center will pull another load manifest in order to determine if an animal exists on a delayed aircraft. Additionally, we are raising awareness with our teams and communicating the importance of opening the bin doors, even for short-term delays.