“Nothing in any of the manuals ever described anything like this,” said the 62-year-old Cross Lanes resident.
But advice given 25 years earlier from his flight instructor sprung to mind: “No matter what happens, fly the plane.”
Coles attempted to swat the snake but it fell to the pilot’s feet, then darted to the other side of the cockpit.
While maintaining control of the single-engine plane with one hand, Coles grabbed the reptile behind its head with his other.
“There was no way I was letting that thing go,” he said. “It coiled all around my arm, and its tail grabbed hold of a lever on the floor and started pulling.”