tioloko100
Topic Author
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Teen Survives Flight In Aircraft Wheel

Mon Aug 26, 2013 3:34 am

I was stunned when I read that a young teenager survived a flight in an aircraft wheel , i wondered how he was able to survive the flight and sadly the little boy was trying to escape socio-economic situations at home.

http://flyingactive.com/content/205-...flight-aircraft-wheel-nigeria.html
 
skywaymanaz
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RE: Teen Survives Flight In Aircraft Wheel

Mon Aug 26, 2013 7:22 am

The article says it was a 35 minute domestic flight. As long as he had room enough not to be crushed by the landing gear he probably could easily survive a flight that short. The flight may not have gone above 20,000' (article says 25,000 though). I seem to recall a lot of MCI-STL flights of similar length I took in my youth (as a pass rider, not a wheel well rider) went up to altitudes in the teens for a few minutes then right back down. People have been known to climb Everest without oxygen at similar altitudes so he may not have passed out or suffered brain damage. It probably got cold but not like 40,000'. I believe I have read there have been a very few people who have survived longer flights in the wheel well but at normal cruising altitude for hours most people will succumb to the altitude and the cold unfortunately. There are far to many of those unfortunate outcome stories and he's very fortunate circumstances provided him with a more survivable situation.
 
tioloko100
Topic Author
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RE: Teen Survives Flight In Aircraft Wheel

Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:37 am

To the best of my knowledge; two major things that saved his life were his size and the fact that the aircraft didnt go higher than 35,000 Feet. Such a lucky boy
 
Byrdluvs747
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RE: Teen Survives Flight In Aircraft Wheel

Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:26 am

A down side to his success is it will further the belief that a person can survive a flight in a wheel well. The facts about altitude and body size won't spread amongst the poor. Many will just see or hear of someone surviving a stowaway flight.

A bigger question is the security of these airports. If someone can stow away in the landing gear, someone with more malicious intents can place explosives there.

Also, are the major carriers who serve Nigeria installing landing gear cameras yet?

Quoting tioloko100 (Reply 2):
two major things that saved his life were his size

Exactly.
The 747: The hands who designed it were guided by god.
 
SYDSpotter
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RE: Teen Survives Flight In Aircraft Wheel

Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:27 am

Quoting skywaymanaz (Reply 1):
The article says it was a 35 minute domestic flight. As long as he had room enough not to be crushed by the landing gear he probably could easily survive a flight that short. The flight may not have gone above 20,000' (article says 25,000 though). I seem to recall a lot of MCI-STL flights of similar length I took in my youth (as a pass rider, not a wheel well rider) went up to altitudes in the teens for a few minutes then right back down. People have been known to climb Everest without oxygen at similar altitudes so he may not have passed out or suffered brain damage. It probably got cold but not like 40,000'.

Anyone have an idea of how high a typical 30 min flight would reach. I've got a feeling you're right and probably less than 20,000 feet (6000m). Whilst some people have climbed Everest without oxygen, that is after weeks/months of acclimatisation. To go from sea level to 25,000 feet within 20 mins or so would've certainly blacked most people out.

Either way, lucky boy...
319_320_321_332_333_388 / 734_737_738_743_744_762_763_772_773_77W
 
oldeuropean
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RE: Teen Survives Flight In Aircraft Wheel

Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:59 am

There have been several cases where people survived even longer flights.

i.g. Vienna to London (2010)

and also one guy survived a flight from somewhere in West Africa to Europe (Paris or Brussels).
Wer nichts weiss muss alles glauben
 
bennett123
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RE: Teen Survives Flight In Aircraft Wheel

Mon Aug 26, 2013 2:12 pm

http://www.deathcamps.info/testimonies/Doctors.htm

Somewhat gruesome, but if you search under "Rascher", you will find the relevant facts.

This seems to indicate that people can survive the cold and altitude longer than you might think.
 
yakima
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RE: Teen Survives Flight In Aircraft Wheel

Mon Aug 26, 2013 2:41 pm

But what I don't understand is that he chose a domestic flight to Lagos. He is not escaping anything. Perhaps he didn't know the destination?

FAAN and Arik Air is now throwing accusations at one another. What was supposed to happen? Should the pilot have returned the plane for inspection before departure?
 
L1011
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RE: Teen Survives Flight In Aircraft Wheel

Mon Aug 26, 2013 3:19 pm

What kind of plane was it? Was it the one in the picture in the above article?

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HBGDS
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RE: Teen Survives Flight In Aircraft Wheel

Mon Aug 26, 2013 4:12 pm

Quoting oldeuropean (Reply 5):
There have been several cases where people survived even longer flights.

i.g. Vienna to London (2010)

and also one guy survived a flight from somewhere in West Africa to Europe (Paris or Brussels).

The most famous (and unbelievable) was in 1969 when a 17-year old Cuban who survived in the well of an Iberia DC-8 all the wayto Madrid from Havana. His buddy did not make it, and was likely crushed by the wheel (crew reopened the gear briefly due to warning light). He was in deep hypothermia, but made it. AT Google books, a book on stratospheric flight summarizes the ordeal:

http://books.google.com/books?id=OHd...%20DC-8%20cuban%20stowaway&f=false
 
hooverman
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RE: Teen Survives Flight In Aircraft Wheel

Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:15 pm

Quoting Byrdluvs747 (Reply 3):
A bigger question is the security of these airports. If someone can stow away in the landing gear, someone with more malicious intents can place explosives there.

There is no way you can make an airport 100% save.Not in Africa and not in the USA.
 
ORDJOE
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RE: Teen Survives Flight In Aircraft Wheel

Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:24 pm

Beening a teen and if he is in good shape, there would be a shot that he could do it. Bear in mind that going up Mt everest is physically demanding, sitting in a wheel well while uncomfortable is not nearly as demanding.
I would agree he got lucky on this one.
 
sw733
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RE: Teen Survives Flight In Aircraft Wheel

Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:32 pm

To me, the amazing thing is that the pilots were alerted and still chose to take off. At least, that's how I read it.
 
waly777
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RE: Teen Survives Flight In Aircraft Wheel

Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:32 pm

The flight was most likely the benin-city to lagos route, typically flown with a 737 and rarely goes higher than 18,000ft. It's a 140nm or so trip and he most likely survived thanks to the warm tropical climate and the low cruise altitude.

Lagos is Nigeria's New York or London, the city of opportunity....then again it is likely he made a dash for the nearest available aircraft and hoped it would take him somewhere fancy. Who knows what he was running from, glad to see he made it alive.
The test of first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold 2 opposed ideas in the mind concurrently, and still function
 
rampbro
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RE: Teen Survives Flight In Aircraft Wheel

Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:51 pm

Quoting sw733 (Reply 12):

That's the impression that I got as well. Seems like a very poor decision when they could have parked the plane and switched off the engines for the five minutes it would take for a ramprat to check the wheel wells.
 
777STL
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RE: Teen Survives Flight In Aircraft Wheel

Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:56 pm

Quoting SYDSpotter (Reply 4):

Anyone have an idea of how high a typical 30 min flight would reach.

I fly STL-ORD often and it's a 30 minute flight. I don't think we've ever flown higher than FL280. Even at that altitude, you're only at cruising altitude for all of 10 minutes or so before you start your descent back down.
PHX based
 
Yflyer
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RE: Teen Survives Flight In Aircraft Wheel

Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:15 pm

Quoting yakima (Reply 7):
But what I don't understand is that he chose a domestic flight to Lagos. He is not escaping anything. Perhaps he didn't know the destination?

I really doubt he knew where the plane was headed. He probably just stowed away on the first plane he saw and gambled that it would take him someplace better than where he was. You and I would see a 737 and realize it was probably a short haul flight, but this kid probably had never been on a plane in his life and likely knew nothing about them other than the general notion that planes travel to places far away.
 
yakima
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RE: Teen Survives Flight In Aircraft Wheel

Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:58 pm

This article states that the boy thought he was on a US-bound plane:

http://www.punchng.com/news/stowaway...y-thought-arik-plane-was-us-bound/
 
Viscount724
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RE: Teen Survives Flight In Aircraft Wheel

Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:06 pm

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 6):
This seems to indicate that people can survive the cold and altitude longer than you might think.

A 3-month-old kitten surived a 2.5 hour flight ATH-ZRH in the nosegear well of an LX A321 a few weeks ago.
http://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/201...-zurich-on-airplane-undercarriage/

 
usctrojan18
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RE: Teen Survives Flight In Aircraft Wheel

Tue Aug 27, 2013 12:20 am

I seem to recall hearing a story a couple years ago about a JetBlue Ramp Worker who got trapped in the Cargo Hold on a flight from JFK to BOS. It was a quick flight, and I think the cargo hold is warmer than the wheel well, but still kind of a shocking story that someone could be just left in the Cargo Hold, and taken from New York to Boston. I wonder how many ramp workers are accidentally left in cargo hold every few years?
 
A346Dude
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RE: Teen Survives Flight In Aircraft Wheel

Tue Aug 27, 2013 12:31 am

Quoting usctrojan18 (Reply 19):
I seem to recall hearing a story a couple years ago about a JetBlue Ramp Worker who got trapped in the Cargo Hold on a flight from JFK to BOS. It was a quick flight, and I think the cargo hold is warmer than the wheel well, but still kind of a shocking story that someone could be just left in the Cargo Hold, and taken from New York to Boston. I wonder how many ramp workers are accidentally left in cargo hold every few years?

At least the cargo hold is pressurized.
You know the gear is up and locked when it takes full throttle to taxi to the terminal.
 
ssublyme
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RE: Teen Survives Flight In Aircraft Wheel

Tue Aug 27, 2013 12:35 pm

Quoting sw733 (Reply 12):

There are different versions. The initial version said the pilots first radioed the tower about a boy about 200 - 300m from the runway to which the tower responded they would request a security patrol. When about to take off, the passengers notified the crew of the boy to which they notified the flight crew. Flight crew (thinking it's the same boy they already notified the tower of earlier) notified the tower again and tower gave them the all clear and cleared them for takeoff.

Atleast this did not end in the death of the boy as the truth of the matter is that his death still would not desuade others in the future
 
bennett123
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RE: Teen Survives Flight In Aircraft Wheel

Tue Aug 27, 2013 12:43 pm

How come that no one noticed that a ramp worker had vanished.
 
RussianJet
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RE: Teen Survives Flight In Aircraft Wheel

Tue Aug 27, 2013 12:59 pm

Quoting Byrdluvs747 (Reply 3):
Also, are the major carriers who serve Nigeria installing landing gear cameras yet?

Why just Nigeria? The problem is not confined solely to that one country. Also, across all countries, it is still (thankfully) relatively rare.
✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
 
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neutrino
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RE: Teen Survives Flight In Aircraft Wheel

Tue Aug 27, 2013 3:40 pm

Quoting usctrojan18 (Reply 19):

I seem to recall hearing a story a couple years ago about a JetBlue Ramp Worker who got trapped in the Cargo Hold on a flight from JFK to BOS. It was a quick flight, and I think the cargo hold is warmer than the wheel well, but still kind of a shocking story that someone could be just left in the Cargo Hold, and taken from New York to Boston. I wonder how many ramp workers are accidentally left in cargo hold every few years?

Slightly related to this thread in being trapped in a vessel; thirty months ago, two Bangladeshi men were accidentally locked in a container at their home port and shipped to Singapore. They were discovered three weeks later. One died whilst the other miraculously survived without food and water and with a rotting corpse. What a great ordeal he endured. Certainly orders of magnitude worse than being left in a cargo hold or hiding in a wheel well of an airplane.
Not that I would imagine being in such situations but I rather be cold at altitude for a few hours than weeks in stifling heat and terrible odor.

http://news.xin.msn.com/en/singapore...article.aspx?cp-documentid=4773030
http://sg.news.yahoo.com/blogs/singa...er-corpse-20110411-231737-293.html
Potestatem obscuri lateris nescitis
 
ssublyme
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RE: Teen Survives Flight In Aircraft Wheel

Tue Aug 27, 2013 4:56 pm

I would think recorders would be able to clear up all the "he said she said"?  
Quote:
The airline stated that before the flight, its pilot had reported a strange movement in the bush about 300 metres at the airport to the airport's control tower.

The control tower, however, went ahead and cleared the flight for take-off after the control tower responded to the pilot by saying they were sending security men to the bush to arrest the boy, according to Arik.

"As the captain was making his final turn, preparatory for take-off, a cabin crew called his attention to the information by some of the passengers that they saw a boy running towards the airplane," Mr. Ndulue said.

"The First Officer confirmed that they had observed it earlier and alerted the control tower which responded that they had sent the patrol team to arrest the boy.

"The captain again reported to the control tower and was informed that the situation was under control and that he had been cleared for take-off.

"On arrival at the domestic wing of MMA, Lagos, a teenage boy, who apparently had sneaked into the aircraft main wheel well jumped out and was arrested by Arik personnel and handed over to FAAN security," Mr. Ndulue added.

In its reaction, FAAN insisted that Arik Air is liable for the circumstances leading to the incident.
http://allafrica.com/stories/201308260465.html?viewall=1
 
bennett123
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RE: Teen Survives Flight In Aircraft Wheel

Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:02 pm

If the Control Tower said that everything was in hand, it is hard to see how it is Arik's fault.
 
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Aesma
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RE: Teen Survives Flight In Aircraft Wheel

Tue Aug 27, 2013 9:55 pm

It seems to me the control tower didn't care at first, then when they cared they didn't see anything wrong since the boy had climbed into the well...

You all talk about the cold but being cold for half an hour is not really dangerous, and will even help with the major problem of being that high, the lack of oxygen.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
A346Dude
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RE: Teen Survives Flight In Aircraft Wheel

Wed Aug 28, 2013 1:19 am

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 22):
How come that no one noticed that a ramp worker had vanished.

This could easily be missed, especially at a hub where there are hundreds of ramp agents working at any time. Even at an outstation the coworkers might just assume a missing colleague went for lunch or finished their shift.
You know the gear is up and locked when it takes full throttle to taxi to the terminal.