Baby hedgehog crossing runway halts Scottish flight

The pilot stopped the aircraft on its way to the runway at Stornoway airport after spotting a hedgehog crossing the flight path in front of the plane.

A baby hedgehog stopped a flight from Stornoway airport in its tracks. Picture: PA/ Lawrie Brailey
A baby hedgehog stopped a flight from Stornoway airport in its tracks. Picture: PA/ Lawrie Brailey

A Loganair flight from Stornoway airport to Inverness stopped in its tracks before reaching the runway yesterday at 5.20 pm after the captain noticed a hedgehog crossing in front of the aircraft.

Flight LM156, with 30 passengers on board, had left the flight stand and was slowly heading to to the runway when the pilot looked down and noticed a "small, brown bundle" in front of the aircraft.

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After waiting for several minutes, allowing the animal to safely cross the pathway, the pilot informed everyone on board why he stopped the vehicle.

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Passenger Roddy Macleod put a post on Twitter, saying: "While departing Stornoway Airport yesterday evening the plane was heading to the runway when it came to a sudden stop.

"After a short time the captain announced he has stopped to let a baby hedgehog cross over in front of him!"

He later added: "A minute or 2 later I looked out my window to the left and here it was walking off the tarmac onto the grass. Nice touch from the captain!

Loganair flight from Stornoway was stopped by the pilot after he spotted a hedgehog crossing the path. Picture: Alan Wilson/ Flickr

Neil Hughes, Loganair’s Director of Flight operations said: “The captain safely avoided a prickly situation for the little hedgehog, following procedure until the animal was off the tarmac.

“Our network extends into some of Scotland’s most remote communities so there are quite a few opportunities to see animals in the wild – and we’re always conscious to disturb them as little as possible.”

The Scottish airline previously did its part for the spiky animals when it took part in an "airlift" of several hundred hedgehogs destined for the parks and gardens of volunteers around the country.