Intruder Alert: Cat Infiltrates A Boeing 737 Cockpit In Israel

Thousands of aircraft are currently stuck on the ground as the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact commercial aviation. As such, these leaves them at the mercy of certain external factors that would not typically come into play. This was recently exemplified by a certain feline stowaway, who snuck into a stored Boeing 737 in Israel!

El Al Boeing 737
Only two of El Al’s 24 Boeing 737 family aircraft are currently in service. Photo: Aero Icarus via Flickr

An unexpected find

As first reported on Twitter by journalist Itay Blumental, workers at Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) recently made an adorable but surprising discovery on a parked El Al Boeing 737. Despite the aircraft being locked and in storage, a cat had found its way into the aircraft’s cockpit!

The best seats in the 737 are presumably an unusual environment for the creature. Nonetheless, it appears to be very content sitting at the flight controls. The photograph in the tweet above even depicts it lounging in the sun and enjoying the view out of the cockpit window!

It is unclear how long the cat had been in the aircraft, but work was said to be underway to release it. In any case, as the second tweet displays, it was certainly up there for long enough to do some significant damage to the cockpit with its teeth and/or claws!

El Al Boeing 737
The aircraft’s last flights had been between Tel Aviv and Dubai last month. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Flickr

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The aircraft in question

According to Mr Blumental, the aircraft had last flown commercially on a round trip to Dubai on January 24th. Data from RadarBox.com suggests that the plane that the sneaky cat infiltrated is registered as 4X-EHB. According to Planespotters.net, this Boeing 737-900ER is just over seven years old. The Israeli flag carrier took delivery of the aircraft in November 2013.

It is one of eight 737-900ERs in El Al’s fleet, of which only one is currently active. It remains to be seen when exactly 4X-EHB and its counterparts will re-enter service. In any case, this particular example will require some interior cosmetic work first!

Not the only cat to have made headlines

This sweet but stealthy intruder is not the only cat to have made the news in the airline industry in recent months. Indeed, Simple Flying reported on a similar incident across the Atlantic last month. In this instance, the cat had not entered an aircraft, but rather a terminal building! Having gone missing over Christmas, airport staff found Muji in the ceiling at New York LaGuardia. She was reunited with her owner after 11 days apart in early January.

El Al 787
Some cats have more of a taste for El Al’s widebody aircraft. This can certainly be said of the feline stowaway whose paw prints were found on a 787 in Hong Kong last November! Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

In fact, this most recent incident was not even the first cat-related troubles that El Al has encountered! Last November, one of the airline’s Boeing 787s got stuck in Hong Kong after paw prints were found in its cabin. It is assumed that the stowaway had found its way onboard in Tel Aviv, from where it had flown to Hong Kong. Thankfully, security breaches of the feline kind are far less serious than the human variety.

What do you make of this incident? Have you ever unexpectedly come across an animal on an aircraft? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments!

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