Snakes on a Plane
Samuel L Jackson starred in cult film Snakes on a Plane (New Line)

An Australian pilot made an emergency landing when he discovered there was a snake in the cockpit.

In a scene reminiscent of the cult film starring Samuel L Jackson, pilot Brade Blennerhassett returned to Darwin airport, in the Northern Territory, informing airport staff: "I've got snakes on a plane."

Blennerhasett told Australia's ABC News that he caught a glimpse of movement out of the corner of his eye about 20 minutes into his Air Frontier domestic flight to Peppimentari on 3 April.

"Lo and behold, in between the instrument panel and the dashboard, a stowaway came on board and it took me a while to register that it was actually a snake.

"I turned [the plane] around and got it headed back towards Darwin and said, 'Look, you're not going to believe this. I've got snakes on a plane.'"

As he landed the plane, which he described as an "interesting" experience, Blennerhassett said the snake crawled down his leg.

The snake, which had disappeared from the plane by the time a wildlife ranger was on the scene, is thought to have been a non-venomous green snake.

Although the plane was not carrying any passengers at the time of the incident, Air Frontier said it will not be using the plane again until it is certain that the snake is no longer on board.