Beleaguered Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) was kept sweating for over 11 hours by a small mouse that intended to lounge around the national flag carrier´s Boeing 757 9N-ACB Monday and perhaps even log some international flying miles.
The furry visitor, that jumped out of a box of beverages at around 9:30 in the morning, was eventually found dead at around 8:30 in the evening, in a mouse trap placed in Galley II.
The plane could not have taken off with a mouse on board as the rodent can cut vital cables. It couldn´t even be poisoned and had to be captured for certain so that it would not die at some vulnerable location in the plane.
The tiny trespasser caused cancellation of the Boeing´s flight to Bangkok, Thailand in the morning and delayed the midnight flight for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. “We have found the mouse, and the plane has been released. But the flight to Kuala Lumpur (scheduled for 11:30 p.m.) will be delayed as we are still searching to make sure there aren´t any more rodents in the plane,” engineer Shankar Thapa told Republica.
NAC, whose only other Boeing is in Israel for maintenance, had to fly its 133 Bangkok-bound passengers on Thai Airways and pay for five-star accommodation for 63 passengers in Bangkok thanks to the roaming rodent.
The 190-seater´s flight to Kuala Lumpur and the return flight were both full and NAC would have been forced to pay for five-star accommodation for the passengers in Kathmandu and Kuala Lumpur had the mouse not been found in time.
NAC management was putting pressure for the flight to Kuala Lumpur to go ahead even without capture of the mouse in view of the high cost of accommodating 380 passengers, and there was even a possibility of the pilots defying management´s orders.
But the situation was saved just in time and any such unpleasant scenario averted. “If the engineering department has given clearance for the flight, I will definitely fly it to Kuala Lumpur,” said Chief Captain Rabindra Purush Dhakal, when told that the department had given clearance.