Noah’s Ark Airports

Noah's Ark Airport
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Aviation news somehow arrives in my email inbox very serendipitously. Two recent articles created the notion of airports as having the capacity (including runways) to be Noah’s Arks (curiously, there is an airport called

Noah's Ark Airport

Noah’s Ark


Waldron, MO

The first story would have been perfect if it was located at ORD for it involves a turtle (say the name of the animal and then the airport; speed is involved). Instead its site is DCA and the time is the early evening peak. As WTOP reported:

Turtle on the runway slows flights at Reagan National Airport




It was 5 p.m. Monday evening when United Express Flight 3551 was about to depart National for Chicago O’Hare. Suddenly, the pilots noticed something out of the ordinary on the threshold of the airport’s southbound runway.

“We’ve got a turtle crawling across the end of 19,” the pilots told air traffic controllers, who asked which direction the turtle was going. The pilots replied, “Southwest.”

A few minutes went by on the recording from when tower controllers again inquired about the amphibian’s intentions, apparently still on the runway threshold.

“He’s still on the pavement but on the left side,” replied the pilots of the 170-passenger jet.

A few more minutes went by until the United Express flight was cleared for takeoff.

WUSA9 reached out to United and Reagan National Airport for comment.

The FAA database of wildlife strikes shows only one collision with a turtle at Reagan National Airport since 1990.


turtle on tarmac

I wonder how the pilots and controllers categorized the delay?

The 2nd story is at Tampa International, the report is from WTVJ

Service Dog Gives Birth to 8 Puppies at Tampa Airport Gate

Eleanor adds to the Ark

A service dog waiting with her owner to board a Philadelphia-bound flight at Tampa International Airport went into labor at the gate as travelers gathered around and watched.

Tampa Fire Rescue said Eleanor Rigby, a 2-year-old golden retriever, went into labor at Gate F-81 and birthed eight puppies — seven males and a female.

The new mom, owner Diane Van Atter and the puppies’ father, Golden Nugget, were waiting for a flight home Friday when the puppies started arriving one by one. Tampa Fire Rescue paramedics and a nurse assisted with the delivery.

Van Atter, the puppies and the parents missed the flight. Van Atter’s stepmother, Karen James of Bradenton, said they planned to get some rest and figure out how to drive the new litter back to Philadelphia.

The women told reporters at the airport that they knew Eleanor was pregnant but did not know she was so close to giving birth. It was not known how far along Eleanor was in her pregnancy when she gave birth.

The normal gestation period in dogs is approximately 65 days from conception. Flying with a pregnant dog is not recommended after 45 days because it could induce early labor, according to vets at New York’s Westside Veterinary Center.

There is no truth to the rumor that the airline refused to accept that Eleanor Rigby and the 7 puppies would qualify as a service litter.


pups at TPA





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