These Rescue Dogs Learned How to Fly a Plane

Caitlin Schneider

While you were busy trying to get Fido to sit or stay, New Zealand animal trainer and zoologist Mark Vette taught a group of pups to fly—and they became the first dogs ever to pilot a plane.

The trick was filmed for the UK series Dogs Might Fly and involved four months of training, reports. Reggie, Shadow, and Alfie practiced with a grounded, indoor flight simulator that used colored light signals to show which direction they should turn: blue meant left, red meant right, and a white light right overhead meant to continue straight forward. The dogs even learned (new) tricks, like how to do a figure eight, which you can see in the video above.

Each of the three canine aviators is an RSPCA dog, and Vette’s mission was, in part, to show how adept rescues can be. He even personally adopted one of the dogs when the show was over. Vette has previously trained pups to be ball boys at tennis events and even taught an octopus named Rambo to take a photo.

Banner image via Mark Vette // YouTube.