List of wheel-well stowaway flights

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Wheel well of a Boeing 747

This page lists known flights with stowaways since records began in 1947, who for various reasons traveled inside the wheel well (landing gear compartment, also known as wheel bay). As of January 2014, there were 103 such attempts on 92 flights recorded by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration since 1947, 23.3% of which were successful.[1] In at least one instance, on July 31, 2013 a cat survived a flight from Athens to Zürich in the front undercarriage of an Airbus A321.[2]

Date Stowaway(s) Flight Aircraft Stowaway's fate
August 5, 1947 Male, 30 LisbonNatal Douglas DC-3 Survived[3]
September 28, 1966 Male, 17 BogotáMexico City Colombian jet airliner Survived at 34,000 ft[3]
April 19, 1966 Unknown youth, 20/21 OrlyMorocco Air France Sud Aviation Caravelle Died (froze)[3]
June 4, 1969 Armando Socarras Ramirez, 17, Jorge Perez Blanco, 16 HavanaMadrid
(Iberia Flight 904)
Douglas DC-8 Ramirez survived, Blanco died[4]
July 26, 1969 Male, 17 and a second unknown HavanaMadrid Douglas DC-8 One survived, second fell to death[3]
June 21, 1970 Male, 13 LyonAbidjan Douglas DC-8 Died (fell at Abidjan when landing gear lowered)[3]
February 24, 1970 Male, 14 SydneyTokyo Boeing 707 Fell from 200 ft on takeoff[3]
April 14, 1972 Male, 18 San DiegoNew York City Boeing 707 Died (froze)[3]
March 23, 1975 Unknown youth BogotáMiami Boeing 707 Died (fell)[3]
November 14, 1986 Male, 35 PanamaMiami Boeing 707 Survived at 39,000 ft[3]
February 19, 1990 2 men from Trinidad TrinidadToronto BWIA West Indies Airways Lockheed L1011 Both survived 5 hour flight[5]
June 4, 1993 Male, 13 BogotáMiami Douglas DC-8 Survived at 35,000 ft, but frosted[3]
August 4, 1993 Male, 19 BogotáNew York City Boeing 747 Died[6]
1995 Unknown migrant worker To Shanghai Boeing 747 Died (froze and fell during landing at Pudong International Airport)[7]
August 2, 1996 Two Mongolian boys, about 9 and 12 Ulan BatorKadena Air Base U.S. Air Force Lockheed C-141B One survived, the other about 12 died[8]
October 14, 1996 Pardeep Saini, 22, Vijay Saini, 19 New DelhiLondon Boeing 747 Pardeep survived in the nose wheel well at 35,000 ft,[6] Vijay died[9]
March 22, 1997 Male, adolescent NairobiLondon Boeing 747 Died[6]
1998 Trevor Jacobs, 30 AntiguaTrinidad McDonnell Douglas MD-80 Died (Trevor Jacobs was wanted on several criminal charges, including kidnapping)[10]
February 7, 1998 Unknown male BakuLondon
(British Airways Flight 2028)
Boeing 767 Died, body discovered upon arrival to Gatwick Airport on February 8[11]
July 28, 1998 Chinese male, 23 ShanghaiTokyo Boeing 747 Survived, but hospitalized in critical condition[12]
September 14, 1998 Emilio Dominguez, 23 San Pedro SulaMiami
(Iberia Flight 6130)
McDonnell Douglas DC-9 Survived at 33,000 ft, traveled for work,[13] but was returned to Honduras
July 28, 1999 Yaguine Koita and Fodé Tounkara ConakryBrussels
(Sabena Flight 520)
Airbus A330 Both died (froze)[14]
August 4, 2000 Fidel Maruhi, 24 PapeeteLos AngelesParis
(Air France Flight 71)
Boeing 747-400 Survived at 38,000 ft.[15] Discovered during a refueling stopover in Los Angeles, Maruhi later told, that the main motive behind his travel to France was to "shake hands" with Zinedine Zidane[16]
June 2001 Mohammed Ayaz, 21 MuharraqLondon Boeing 777 Died (traveled to London due to job hardships in Pakistan and Bahrain)[17]
August 7, 2001 Unknown male LondonNew York City
(American Airlines Flight 131)
Boeing 777 Died (fell from 1,500 ft on approach to John F. Kennedy International Airport)[18]
September, 2001 Mikhail Semenyaga, 24 PermYekaterinburgFrankfurt Died[19]
December 24, 2001 Alberto Rodriguez, 15, Maikel Almira, 16 HavanaLondon Boeing 777 Both died (planned hiding on a flight to Miami)[20]
July 2002 Cameroonian male, 34 ParisRio de Janeiro Died[21]
December, 2002 Victor Alvarez Molina, 24 HavanaMontreal McDonnell Douglas DC-10 Survived, received a refugee status in Canada[22]
December 5, 2002 Two boys, 12 and 14 AccraLondon McDonnell Douglas DC-10 Both died[23]
January 11, 2003 Mariano Alexis Herrera-Ba, Punta Cana International Airport technician Punta CanaToronto Airbus A320 Died[24]
January 23, 2003 Two unidentified men ParisShanghai
(Air France Flight 112)
Boeing 777 Both died (fell on approach to Pudong International Airport)[25]
February 25, 2003 Unknown male Mali or GabonParis? Died (fell near Paris)[26]
March 25, 2003 Unknown male, 19 To Frankfurt Died[27]
December 24, 2003 Unknown male, about 25 Montego BayNew York City Died[28]
December 30, 2003 Unknown male, 30s LagosLondonNew York City
(British Airways Flight 117)
Boeing 747 Died (body found upon arrival to John F. Kennedy International Airport)[29]
July 21, 2004 Unknown male, 20 Dominican RepublicDüsseldorf Died (froze)[26]
October 22, 2004 Unknown male, 20s MiamiDetroit Died[30]
November 11, 2004 Liang Kailong, 14, Su Qing, 13 KunmingChongqing Airbus A320 Liang survived, Su died (fell shortly after takeoff)[7]
November 16, 2004 Unknown MaliParis Died[26]
November 30, 2004 Unknown male Died (fell, body found in Louvain)[26]
May 25, 2005 Unknown boy, about 10 DunhuangLanzhou Airbus A320 Died[7]
June 7, 2005 Unknown JohannesburgDakarNew York City (South African Airways Flight 203) Died (crushed on approach to John F. Kennedy International Airport)[31]
January 12, 2007 Male JohannesburgDakarAtlanta
(Delta Air Lines Flight 35)
Boeing 767 Died (frozen and crushed)[32]
January 15, 2007 Unidentified BanjulDakarBrussels Died[33]
January 28, 2007 Samuel Peter Benjamin, 17 SingaporeVancouverHong KongCape TownLondonLos Angeles Boeing 747 Died in the front wheel well, presumably after hitching the aircraft in his hometown Cape Town on January 22, body discovered in Los Angeles[34]
July 19, 2007 Asian, 50s ShanghaiSan Francisco Boeing 747 Died (in the nose gear wheel well)[22]
September 21, 2007 Andrey Shcherbakov, 15 PermMoscow Boeing 737 Survived, but suffered severe frostbite[35]
October 12, 2007 Osama R.M. Shublaq, Palestinian Kuala LumpurSingapore
(Singapore Airlines Flight 119)
Boeing 777-200 Survived[36]
October 21, 2007 Ilgar Ashumov, 15 BakuMoscow Died on approach to Domodedovo International Airport, body found 12 km from the airport[37]
August 9, 2009 Filipp Yurchenko, 19 IrkutskKhabarovskVladivostok
(Vladivostok Avia Flight 486)
Airbus A320 Died[38]
February 7, 2010 Unknown male New York CityNarita
(Delta Air Lines Flight 59)
Boeing 777 Died[39]
February 18, 2010 Unknown Dominican male Santo DomingoMiami Boeing 767 Died (fell during takeoff)[40]
April 2010 Unknown African male To Zürich Died (fell after landing gear was lowered on approach to Zürich, body found in Weisslingen)[41]
June 6, 2010 Romanian male, 20 ViennaLondon Boeing 747 Survived[42]
July 9, 2010 Unknown male BeirutRiyadh Died[43]
November 2, 2010 Male, 16 YerbogachenKirensk Antonov An-24 Survived, but planned to reach Irkutsk[44]
November 15, 2010 Delvonte Tisdale, 16 CharlotteBoston
(US Airways Flight 1776)
Boeing 737 Died (possible fatal injury inside wheel well from landing gear, fell on approach to Boston)[45]
July 13, 2011 Cuban man, 23 HavanaMadrid Died[46]
July 26, 2012 Unidentified male Cape TownLondon Boeing 747 Died[47]
September 9, 2012 Jose Matada, 26 or 30 LuandaLondon Died (fell)[48]
October 26, 2012 Unidentified male LondonLagos Airbus A340-500 Died[49]
April 8, 2013 Unidentified YaoundéParis Boeing 767 Died[50]
June 6, 2013 Georgian national, 22 (presumably) RiminiMoscow Airbus A321 Died[51]
July 18, 2013 Unidentified male IstanbulLondon Airbus A320 Died[52]
July 25, 2013 Unknown male OuagadougouNiameyParis
(Air France Flight 547)
Airbus A330 Died (fell during landing in Niamey)[53]
August 24, 2013 Daniel Ihekina, 13/14 Benin CityLagos Survived[54]
January 5, 2014 Unknown MashhadMedina (emergency landing due to landing gear failure) Boeing 767-300ER Died (body parts fell at an intersection in Mushrefa, Jeddah)[55]
February 22, 2014 Chris Dikeh, Nigerian national DakarWashington, D.C. Airbus A340-300 Died[56]
April 20, 2014 Yahya Abdi, Somali national, 16 San JoseKahului
(Hawaiian Airlines Flight 45)
Boeing 767 Survived[57]
June 5, 2014 Male, 17 Sandefjord, NorwayAmsterdam
(KLM Cityhopper)
Embraer 190 Died[58]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Airplane Stowaways Expose Glaring Breach in Airport Security". ABC News. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  2. ^ "Stowaway cat survives flight from Athens". The Local. 2 August 2013. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Survival at High Altitudes: Wheel-Well Passengers". FAA. October 1996. Retrieved 21 April 2014. 
  4. ^ Desperate Journeys, Abandoned Souls: True Stories of Castaways and Other Survivors. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 1998. p. 469. ISBN 0395911508. 
  5. ^ http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/general_aviation/print.main?id=713046
  6. ^ a b c "Wheel-well Stowaway Flights". Flight Safety Foundation. Retrieved 21 April 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c Cao Desheng. "Boy hiding in gear compartment killed". China Daily. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  8. ^ "Two Mongolian Boys, One Dead, Found on U.S. Air Force Flight". Associated Press. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  9. ^ "5 stowaway attempts that didn't end tragically". CNN. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  10. ^ http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19981223&slug=2790535
  11. ^ "Body found in plane undercarriage". BBC. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  12. ^ "Stowaway survives flight". Star-News. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  13. ^ "Stowaway survives Honduras-to-Miami flight at 33,000 feet". Ocala Star-Banner. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  14. ^ Tim Sullivan, Raf Casert. "For a Pair of African Stowaways, Only Europe Held Hope of a Future". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  15. ^ "Stowaway Found Alive in Jet's Wheel Well". ABC News. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  16. ^ "Tahitian Stowaway to Los Angeles Found Guilty". Pacific Islands Development Program. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  17. ^ "The man who fell to earth". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  18. ^ Al Baker. "Stowaway Fell From Jet Near Airport, Police Say". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  19. ^ "Труп в самолете «Люфтганзы» – пермяк или екатеринбуржец?" (in Russian). NR2. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  20. ^ "Error that cost the lives of teenage Cuban stowaways". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 April 2014. 
  21. ^ "Cameroonian stowaway dies on Paris-bound flight". Africa Review. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  22. ^ a b "Body found in wheel well of United 747 jumbojet". USA Today. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  23. ^ "Frozen Stowaways; Lax security blamed after 2 boys die in jet undercarriage". The Mirror. 6 December 2002. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
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  25. ^ "Two Foreigners Fall Dead from Plane in Shanghai". China Internet Information Center. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  26. ^ a b c d Living Through Terror. Routledge. 2013. p. 154. ISBN 1317982347. 
  27. ^ "В Германии обнаружено тело россиянина, погибшего при попытке "зайцем" долететь до Франкфурта-на-Майне" (in Russian). RIA Novosti. Retrieved 26 April 2014. 
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  29. ^ "Body Find On BA Jet". The Mirror. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  30. ^ "Body of man discovered in aircraft's wheel well". Airline Industry Information. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  31. ^ "Stowaway's Leg Falls From Jet". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  32. ^ "Stowaway's Body Found In Delta Jet". CBS News. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  33. ^ "Gambia: In SN Brussels Aircraft Incident Belgian Authorities Mount Investigation". allAfrica.com. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  34. ^ Catherine Elsworth. "Body 'may have been week on plane'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  35. ^ "Подросток пролетел в крыле Boeing-737 из Перми до "Внуково"" (in Russian). RIA Novosti. Retrieved 23 April 2014. 
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  37. ^ "«Зачем воспитанному мальчику российская столица»" (in Russian). Gazeta.ru. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  38. ^ "Прокуратура устанавливает, как погибший мужчина попал в шасси самолета" (in Russian). RIA Novosti. Retrieved 23 April 2014. 
  39. ^ "Японская полиция выясняет, как мужчина попал в шасси борта из США" (in Russian). RIA Novosti. Retrieved 23 April 2014. 
  40. ^ "Безбилетник погиб в нише для шасси самолета в аэропорту Доминиканы" (in Russian). RIA Novosti. Retrieved 23 April 2014. 
  41. ^ "Нелегальный мигрант погиб на пути в Швейцарию, выпав из отсека шасси" (in Russian). RIA Novosti. Retrieved 23 April 2014. 
  42. ^ "Romanian stowaway found at Heathrow freed after caution". BBC. Retrieved 21 April 2014. 
  43. ^ "Мужчина погиб при попытке прилететь зайцем из Бейрута в Эр-Рияд" (in Russian). RIA Novosti. Retrieved 23 April 2014. 
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  45. ^ "The Last Days of Delvonte Tisdale". Creative Loafing Charlotte. Retrieved 22 February 2011. 
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  48. ^ "Heathrow Stowaway, Jose Matada, Who Fell To His Death Over London Is Finally Identified". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 21 April 2014. 
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  52. ^ "Turkish stowaway found dead in Heathrow airline landing gear". Belfast Telegraph. 19 July 2013. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  53. ^ "Безбилетник выпал из самолета при посадке" (in Russian). Utro.ru. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
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  58. ^ "Corpse found in wheel well of KLM plane at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport". Associated press/CTV. 5 June 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2014.