Airline: Northwest Airlines
Incident Date: Sep 11, 2009
Report Date: November 2009
Incident Type: Death
Brachycephalic: No Definition
Animal Age: 4 years 6 months
Flight Number: 393
Originating Airport: CLT (Charlotte/Douglas Intl)
Destination Airport: MSP (Minneapolis-Saint Paul International)
Reporting Airport: CLT (Charlotte/Douglas Intl)
Cargo Incident Report # 0909-1 Type: Death Date of Incident: September 11, 2009 Location: Charlotte, NC Routing: Charlotte – Minneapolis/St., Paul Northwest Flight 5748 Minneapolis/St. Paul – Anchorage Northwest Flight 393 AWB: 012 CLT 4481 6553 Shipper / Owner / Guardian: Redacted
Description of Animal: 4.5 year old Chocolate Labrador, named “Dixie”
Description of Incident: Dixie was accepted by Northwest’s contract cargo handler, Worldwide Flight Services-WFS (a USDA registered intermediate handler) in their facility at the Charlotte airport. She escaped from her kennel while being transported between the cargo facility and the aircraft. Immediate attempts were made to capture her, but she escaped under the airport perimeter fence. Northwest, Delta and WFS continued to search for her daily and posters of Dixie were distributed in the area. Dixie was found on September 22 by a local Animal Control officer who shot her with a tranquilizing dart to subdue her. The dart unfortunately hit several vital organs. Despite emergency surgery to remove her spleen and to repair the damage caused by the dart, Dixie died later that evening.
Cause of the Incident: Upon further investigation, several bolts were found missing from the kennel. In addition, the WFS agent failed to follow Northwest’s standard procedure of further securing the kennel door with removable zip ties. The probable cause of Dixie’s escape was the accidental opening of the kennel door due to weakening of the door and kennel structure caused by the missing hardware. The cause of her death was a combination of the tranquilizing drugs and the severity of her injuries caused by the dart itself.
Corrective Action Taken: The agent responsible for inspecting the kennel at acceptance was reprimanded. All WFS employees at Charlotte were thoroughly re-trained on Northwest’s live animal acceptance and handling policies and procedures.
Prepared by: Redacted
Filed on behalf of NW by: Redacted