There are not many situations in which a pilot will turn the plane around after it is already on the tarmac.
But that is exactly what a JetBlue pilot did Friday, Oct. 20 when there was an emergency. Not a plane emergency, but a puppy emergency.
The emergency? Passenger Gwen Wunderlich’s chow chow, Cash, had escaped from his dog walker in Brooklyn, New York, while Wunderlich was departing from LaGaurdia Airport in New York City to Costa Rica. She got the call just seven minutes before the plane was set to take off.
The plane was already taxiing to the runway.
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“Knowing I had maybe a minute to jump off the plane, I jumped up ran to the stewardess and told her I had to get off the plane now for a family emergency,” Wunderlich posted on Facebook.
But it had already started moving on the tarmac.
“I told the stewardess. I got up, and she was like, ‘Are you sure? We can only turn around for emergencies,’” Wunderlich told CBS. “I’m like, ‘this is an emergency for me.’”
The stewardess took action.
“At this point I was shaking and crying,” Wunderlich posted on Facebook. “She called the pilot. In one minute the pilot announced we had to go back to the gate. A passenger had an emergency.”
Wunderlich, frantic for her missing four-legged friend, ran off the plane, jumped in a cab and turned to Facebook and local media outlets to help her find Cash.
She and others hoping to find Cash went on the trip of an adventure – just not to Costa Rica – looking for him, from the Brooklyn Bridge to Queens.
But it was not until 2:30 p.m. that one of many tips resulted in any luck.
“After 8.5 harrowing hours, I got the call,” she posted on Facebook. “The police brought in a chow to the ... Animal Control Center. Cash had run into a deli and they cornered him. I literally cried tears of joy!!!!”
Cash had to stay at the center overnight to get neutered, “But he is safe, he is healthy.”