Photo: Robert Weber -
Photo: Robert Weber -

You're flying at 25,000ft, enjoying a nice glass of orange juice, when you look to your left and see a 3m python hanging on to the wing for dear life.

It's enough to make you spit out your drink.

That's exactly what happened on a Qantas jet flying from Cairns to Port Moresby on Thursday morning. The plane was around 20 minutes into the flight when a female passenger noticed the poor reptile, believed to be a scrub python, battling to survive in the sub zero temperatures.

Passenger Robert Weber told Fairfax that people at the rear of the plane were totally focused on the snake, and couldn’t believe how it had got into its precarious position.

''I felt quite sad for it, really. For the remainder of the flight, he was trying to pull himself back into the plane, even though he was fighting against 400km/h winds," he said.

There was nothing anyone could do for the poor creature, which was being whipped against the engine from the strong winds, creating a blood trail on the plane.

The python was dead on arrival when QF191 touched down at Port Moresby just before 8am.

A Qantas spokesperson said the snake must have taken refuge on the outside of the aircraft at Cairns Airport overnight before takeoff.

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