Airline: ATA Airlines
Incident Date: Aug 16, 2006
Report Date: October 2006
Incident Type: Loss
Brachycephalic: No Definition
Animal Age: 20 months
Flight Number: TZ 4517
Originating Airport: OAK (Metropolitan Oakland Intl)
Destination Airport: HNL (Honolulu Intl)
Reporting Airport: HNL (Honolulu Intl)
1) Carrier and flight number: TZ 4517
2) Date and Time of the incident: August 16, 2006
3) Description of the animal (including name if applicable):
20-Month-old Timneh (relative of African Gray Parrot) Gray Female bird named "KAYLA"
5) Narrative Description of the incident: Passengers arrived with pet bird in cabin from OAK to HNL. Pet bird was transferred to a vendor birdcage by the owner, who handed all documentation to an ATA gate agent. The ATA Gate Agent handed birdcage and documentation to Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) Ramp Lead Agent, Deones, to transport to the State of Hawaii Animal Quarantine for clearance and entry to Hawaii. Deones did not follow procedures and left the birdcage on the base of the belt loader and turned over responsibility to another WFS employee. About 15 to 20 minutes later, Deones discovered that the cage had fallen, the door was open, and saw the bird flying towards the roof area of the airport. ATA Management was notified an hour after the incident and the pet's owners were informed by ATA. A three-hour search for the bird was conducted with ATA Supervisor, Yvonne Tenn, 12 airport security guards, ramp control and the pet owners. The bird was not found.
6) Narrative Description of the cause of the incident Worldwide Flight Services Ramp Lead Agent Deones did not follow proper procedures to deliver the pet to the State of Hawaii Animal Quarantine immediately after acceptance. The animal should have been placed on a bag cart for safe transport; instead, the agent placed the cage on the base of a belt loader where it was not protected and exposed to danger on the ramp.
7) Narrative Description of any corrective action taken in response to the incident: Worldwide Flight Services has been held by ATA as 100% responsible for this accident, not only for the loss of the pet, but for all expenses incurred by the pet's owners and ATA Airlines in this matter. Worldwide Flight Services has initialized retraining of all their agents on proper handling of animals and the State of Hawaii Animal Quarantine clearance procedures. Disciplinary action was promptly taken by WFS against their employee who accepted the pet from the passenger and ATA.