Stowaways over the years: Stories of survival and tragedy
Josh Elliott, CTVNews.ca
Published Monday, April 21, 2014 2:37PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, April 21, 2014 4:23PM EDT
The 16-year-old boy who survived a five-and-a-half-hour flight from California to Hawaii while hiding on the plane’s landing gear is the latest in a long list of stowaways.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration says nearly 100 people have stowed away on airplanes since 1996, but just 25 per cent of them have survived the trip.
Here are just a few of the reported stowaways over the past few years:
August 2013: A 14-year-old Nigerian boy survived a 35-minute domestic trip in the wheel well of a plane.
September 2012: A Mozambique man died on his 26th birthday when he fell from the landing gear of a plane as it approached Heathrow airport from Angola. His body was found on the street of a London suburb and showed signs of hypothermia and oxygen deprivation.
August 2012: A stowaway was found dead in the landing gear bay of a Boeing 747 at Heathrow. The man hid there through the entire 11-and-a-half-hour flight from Cape Town, South Africa.
June 2010: Thunderstorms and a short flight helped a 20-year-old Romanian man survive a trip on the landing gear of a plane going from Vienna to London. The plane flew lower than usual because of the storm, meaning there was more oxygen and warmer temperatures than most stowaways face, and the flight lasted just one hour and 40 minutes.
2010: A 16-year-old American boy was found along a plane’s flight path between Charlotte, N.C. and Logan International Airport in Boston. It’s believed the boy fell while hiding in the wheel well.
2002: Cuban refugee Victor Alvarez Molina made it through a four-hour flight from Havana to Montreal by hiding in the plane’s landing gear bay. He survived thanks to a broken pipe that leaked warm air and gave him something to hold on to when the landing gear deployed.
December 2002: The bodies of two young boys from Ghana were found in the undercarriage of a Ghana Airways DC-10 jetliner when it arrived at Heathrow.
2001: A 21-year-old Pakistani man was found dead in a car park outside Heathrow airport. The man had stowed away on the Boeing 777’s landing gear as it left the airport in Bahrain, but did not survive the flight.
2000: Fidel Maruhi survived more than seven hours while stowed away on a flight from his island of Tahiti to Los Angeles. He was treated for hypothermia and dehydration when he was found.
1997: A 22-year-old Indian man survived a 10-hour flight from Delhi to London, but his 19-year old brother froze to death during the trip.