Air Canada Pilot Credited With Saving Dog’s Life

An Air Canada pilot's decision to divert the plane helped ensure a French Bulldogs' trip ended safely.

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Simba lives to "tell" one story! Via  City News
Simba lives to "tell" one story! Via City News

The first airplane trip for Simba turned out to be one to write about to the pups back home.

The 7-year-old French Bulldog was traveling from Tel Aviv, Israel, to Toronto, Canada, in the cargo area of a plane when the cockpit received an alert of a heating system malfunction, reports City News. The Air Canada pilot knew that the temperatures in the cargo area would plummet once the plane headed over the Atlantic Ocean, so he made the decision to divert the plane to Frankfurt, Germany.

A 2-for-1 flight for one pup thanks to a quick thinking pilot. Via City News

A 2-for-1 flight for one pup thanks to a quick-thinking pilot. Via City News

“If you look at the outside temperature, if it’s minus 50 or 60, there is some insulation, but it will probably still get down to below freezing (in the cargo area),” aviation expert Phyl Durby told City News. “The captain is responsible for all lives on board, whether it’s human or canine.”

After switching flights, the adorable pup was on his way to Canada. Simba’s owner, German Kontorovich, said he was grateful for the pilot’s quick thinking.

A grateful owner and Simba head out. Via City News

A grateful owner and Simba head out. Via City News

Durby estimated the “damage” — most likely to the airline — will be about $10,000 in fuel costs.

Airline passengers interviewed by City News said they didn’t mind the 75-minute delay too much; one, a former crewmember, agreed with the unnamed pilot 100 percent.

“It was definitely the right thing to do,” she said.

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