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Sat, Apr 01, 2023

PETA Sues Ameriflight Over 2022 Wisconsin Mishap

Dogs Allegedly Traumatized

Special 04.01.23 Parody Edition: On Tuesday 15 November 2022 at approximately 09:00 CST, an Ameriflight Fairchild SA227-AT Expediter (N247DH) operating as Ameriflight flight 7141 made an emergency landing on the links of the Western Lakes Golf Club in Pewaukee, Wisconsin.

The aircraft came down three-nautical-miles short of Waukesha County Airport/Crites Field (UES)—its filed destination—while attempting the ILS approach to UES’s runway 10 in visibility limited by snowfall.

Notwithstanding the total loss of the 37-year-old Metroliner, its three crewmembers and cargo of 56 dogs survived the accident with only minor injuries.

In December 2022, the Waukesha, Wisconsin chapter of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals—colloquially, PETA—filed suit in Waukesha County Circuit Court against Ameriflight; the Waukesha Humane Animal Welfare Society (HAWS), to which the dogs were being transported; and Lake County, Wisconsin Fire and Rescue personnel, who rendered emergency services in the accident’s wake.

PETA’s suit alleges Reckless Transportation, Hoarding Pets, and Negligence on the part of Ameriflight; Negligence, Hoarding Pets, and Organized Animal Abuse on the part of HAWS; and labor law violations on the parts of Lake Country Fire & Rescue first-responders.

Opening arguments in the case were heard on 01 April 2023 in the Waukesha County Courthouse. In open, albeit sparsely-attended proceedings, presiding judge the Honorable Robert Garver considered the impassioned if not wholly cogent oratory of plaintiff’s attorney Jeff Brandon, who alleged Ameriflight had recklessly endangered the 56 dogs aboard Flight 7141 by failing to provide the animals seats, seat-belts, and preflight briefings conducive to orderly emergency egress from a 1985 Fairchild SA227-AT.

Mr. Brandon argued: “Ameriflight’s culpability is patently evident in the incontrovertible fact that these 56, self-aware, emotionally complex beings were cited as cargo on the Flight 7141 manifest.”

Over the course of an opening argument that spanned nearly ninety-minutes, Mr. Brandon presented numerous photographs of what he referred adamantly to as “Flight 7141’s main-cabin occupants,” in so doing characterizing Chihuahuas as “nervous,” Basset Hounds as “doleful,” and Black Labs as “victims of discrimination.”

“Be assured,” Mr. Brandon asserted, “Ameriflight willfully loaded Maltese and Samoyeds in the forward cabin. Dobermans, Schipperkes, and Affenpinschers, however, were relegated to the back of the proverbial bus.”

Defying courtroom convention, the defendants’ attorney Mr. York Oxmall, Esq. interrupted Brandon’s opening missive, objecting: “If it pleases the court and esteemed opposing counsel, the SA227 Expediter has only one cabin, the rear section of which—after the fashion of transport category aircraft—is the safest, and most crash-worthy.”

A heated exchange ensued, during which Judge Garver instructed Mr. Brandon to refrain from impugning the virtue of Mr. Oxmall’s mother, and inquired after both counsels’ readiness to present witnesses.

Following a brief recess, Mr. Brandon, in accordance with trial protocol, called his first witness, a Belgian Malinois that mauled the proffered Bible, had an accident on the stand, and was removed forcibly from the courtroom by bailiffs after Judge Garver cited the animal for contempt and issued a two-hundred-dollar fine.

Displeased, Garver warned the gallery no further outbursts would be tolerated, then called a sidebar, during which he excoriated Mr. Brandon, stating emphatically that further instances of blasphemy or voiding would see him disbarred.

Mr. Brandon next called a Basenji, albeit to no avail.

In all, Mr. Brandon called 17 of the 56 Flight 7141 dogs to the stand, including a two-year-old dalmatian responding firefighters offered to adopt—a gesture the PETA lawsuit calls a “violation of child labor laws.”

The most compelling testimony was offered by a Boston Terrier, which in response to questioning pertaining to the moments leading up to the accident aircraft’s impact with the Western Lakes fairway, bolted from the stand, leapt into the jury-box, and attacked a juror sporting a New York Yankees jersey.

That Mr. Brandon remains a member of the Wisconsin Bar Association is attributable solely to Judge Garver's pronouncement that the animal’s behavior was justified, a fortiori “the repellent inclinations of indigenous New Yorkers.”

Mr. Oxmall’s strategy was predicated largely upon the testimony of human witnesses, the majority of whose accounts proved more cohesive and compelling than those of Mr. Brandon’s witnesses.

For purpose of illustrating the legality of Flight 7141, Ameriflight Chief Pilot Heywood Yuduit presented those sections of the air-carrier’s operations specifications pertaining to the carriage of live animals—the entirety of which had been dutifully observed by Ameriflight’s ground and air-crews.

As his last witness, Mr. Oxmall called Flight 7141 Pilot In Command Noel Idintduit, a respected, former Gulfstream pilot and high-time aviator who personally rescued several dogs from the Metroliner’s wreckage. Asked to comment on Mr. Brandon’s allegations that Ameriflight’s pilot cadre comprised primarily animal-haters, Mr. Idintduit stated: “Animal haters? I’ve flown Rosie O’Donnell and Joy Behar... if that means anything to you...”

A verdict in the PETA-v-Ameriflight et al. case is expected by week’s end.

FMI: www.pupgoestheweasel.com

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