TV Dogs Learn To Fly


Twelve rescue dogs from the United Kingdom were used for an experiment to see if they could be taught to fly a Cessna 182, and after 10 weeks of training on simulators — detailed on a reality-TV show — three of the dogs went aloft with their humans to show off their skills. During the Sky1 series “When Dogs Fly,” Mark Vette and his assistants trained the dogs using lights and tones as cues, and treats as rewards. Once in the air, each of the three dogs successfully completed a figure-8 maneuver, with a human copilot in the right seat and a trainer in the back providing cues.

Jamie Theakston, host of the series,said the effort showed off the unique talents of each dog. “People give up on them too easily and this series will show us why we shouldn’t,” he said. “They are just as deserving and just as intelligent,” he said. All 12 of the dogs that starred in the series will go to new homes, the producers said.