Incident Date: Oct 22, 2007
Report Date: December 2007
Incident Type: Loss
Brachycephalic: No Definition
Animal Age: Not reported
Flight Number: 4989
Originating Airport: MDT (Harrisburg International)
Destination Airport: 000
Reporting Airport: MDT (Harrisburg International)
Flight Number: 4989
Date and Time of Incident: 10/22/07 / 5:20a.m.
Type of Incident Escape
Description of Animal Breed: feline Age: unknown
Description of the Incident A kennel containing a live cat was being transported to flight 4989. While walking the cat from the operations area to the aircraft, via the ramp, the agent noticed the cat becoming restless and moving about rapidly in the kennel. This agitation appeared to increase as the agent got closer to the aircraft where the APU was running. As the agent approached the aircraft (approximately 4 feet from the belt loader) the cat managed to break open the latch and jumped out of the kennel. Immediately, the cat ran by the First Officer assigned to the flight and ran straight for the runway. At this point the agent realized the cat was not able to be caught and instructed a ramp agent to notify the Lead Agent of the incident. The kennel door was constructed of metal and did meet the IATA container requirements #1. The locking pins were also made of metal and the plastic ty-wraps were secured between the door and the kennel. It appears the cat was able to break the latch from the kennel and force itâ€™s way out through the bottom of the kennel door and escaped.
Cause of the Incident As the cat was being carried towards the aircraft to be boarded, it became agitated and began scratching and clawing at the kennel, eventually disengaging the latch from the kennel door which allowed the escape.
Corrective Action Taken A review of policies/procedures and proper inspection of kennels has been sent to all Stations that service Comair flights including MDT. The MDT Station set traps to retrieve the cat but were unsuccessful. Local airport police along with TSA and other airlines that serve the MDT airport were advised of the incident and also were alerted to be on the lookout for the cat. Comair Agents were escorted to remote areas of the airport to search for the cat, but those too, proved to be unsuccessful.