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Thread: Furry Friends Co-Pilots?

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  1. #1

    Happy Furry Friends Co-Pilots?

    Has anyone here taken their dog flying with them before? If so, did you use ear protection? What type of airplane? Did you crate them? Looking to take our dog on a trip and looking for tips!

  2. #2
    FlyingRon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    NC26 (Catawba, NC)
    Not me, but I know friends who fly with their labs all the time. One liked it so much he was prone to get into other people's aircraft if you left them open. They make doggie hearing protectors but I don't know of those who've used them. I had one friend who had a dog (ironically named Jeppesen) that was scared of flying, so you might want to test your dog on a short hop first.

    My personal experience is flying with my parrot. She was a bit nervous the first time but quickly got into it. In fact, she prefers to ride in the right seat rather than the back. It's only rough on her when it is turbulent as she has to spend a lot of effort holding on.

  3. #3
    MuttMuffs makes ear protection for dogs!
    I've heard people are careful at first, just starting the plane with dog in the back, see how it responds. And then slowly work to flying.

    Here's a video by Bradley Friesen from BC Canada, flying with his girlfriend's dog in his R44 helicopter.

  4. #4
    Mayhemxpc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Manassas, Virginia
    I have flown with a previous dog of mine in a Piper Warrior (Rottweiler). She was trained for Search and Rescue and we flew to exercises and actual searches. I buckled the lap belts of the back seat to her harness. She was nervous during taxi but after takeoff she settled right down and went to sleep. No problem at all after the first flight. Current dog, also a Rottie. I have not flown with her yet, but I have taxied with her on board. Actually enthusiastic. She is very interested in airplanes. That might not be a good thing. The O-2A is a lot louder than a Warrior, so I intend to get her hearing protection.
    Chris Mayer

  5. #5

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Durham, NC
    Hi David -

    I've flown 90 rescue flights for PilotsNPaws and transported over 340 dogs and 22 cats in my 172E. I've never had an issue with an animal in the plane (its usually on the ground where you detect anxiety). There can be a bit of "curiosity" at the beginning of the flight but at some point the dogs will curl up and sleep whether tethered or in a crate. Best not to feed the dog in the morning and keep water to a minimum otherwise it will likely end up in the plane. Be aware of altitude and your descent rate. 300 FPM is ideal ... nothing over 500 FPM for their ears (and if requested by ATC just explain you have an animal on board). If you are flying solo I would certainly tether the dog in the back / on the back seat until you know how he'll behave. Have fun!

    Backstory on the photo - Pete was one of three dogs we had on the flight. Two were in crates and Pete was tethered. He was completely shut down when we met him on the ground. The rescue had (literally) pulled him from a carbon monoxide gas chamber when our NC shelters used them to euthanize groups of animals at once (finally outlawed in 2014). I noticed some movement in the back about 20 minutes into the flight. Pete had climbed onto one of the crates and placed his head on John's (co-pilot) shoulder ... and stayed that way for almost 1.5 hrs. No question these rescue dogs understand you are there to bring them no harm (despite the very unfamiliar environment).

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    Last edited by RickG; 10-09-2020 at 05:46 AM.

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