Despite being the second highest-grossing actor of all time, having 205 acting roles credited to his name and an Oscar nomination, there was a time in the late 2000s when Samuel L. Jackson’s most recited cultural contribution was yelling, “I have had it with these mother-fucking snakes on this mother-fucking plane!”
A pilot flying out of South Africa had cause to repeat the iconic line recently, after discovering a deadly cobra slithering out from under his seat and around his waist shortly after take-off. Rudolf Erasmus had four passengers onboard his light aircraft when the serpentine discovery was made, which turned out to be a large cape cobra that is highly venomous and can cause death just an hour after being bitten.
“At first, I thought it was my water bottle leaking,” Erasmus said, according to CNN. “As I then turned to my left and I looked down, I saw the head of the snake receding back underneath my seat. I had a moment of stunned silence. It was more as if my brain did not register what is going on to be truly honest. It was a moment of disbelief, I think.”
Despite one of Africa’s most deadly snakes stowing away in the aircraft, Erasmus remained calm and was able to successfully land the plane at nearby Welkom Airport, without any injury or harm coming to him or any of the passengers on board. Once everyone had successfully exited the aircraft, the snake was found curled up under Erasmus’ seat and was removed from harm’s way.
Understandably, the South African Civil Aviation Authority was quite pleased with the outcome of the incident, with director Poppy Khoza stating, “He remained calm in the face of a dangerous situation and managed to land the aircraft safely without any harm to him or his fellow passengers on board, displaying to the world that he is an aviation safety ambassador of the highest order.”
A lot less action than in Snakes on a Plane, but a story that Erasmus will be telling down at the pub for years to come.