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Body found in jet's wheel compartment

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Body found in jet's wheel compartment

Old 31st Dec 2003, 20:32
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Body found in jet's wheel compartment

Anyone know anything 'bout this. I recall a very recent thread about this topic but all posts related to flights originating in Africa and how to stop it. If the following is correct then either someone managed to get past security at Heathrow or they were stuck there from an earlier sector

Body found in jet's wheel compartment 
31/12/2003 - 10:32:42 am
The body of a man was found in the wheel compartment of a British Airways plane that had flown from Heathrow Airport, London to John F Kennedy International Airport, New York, authorities said today.
Police found the body of a man believed to be in his 30s on BA Flight 177 after the plane landed at 6:30pm last night, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
The Queens District Attorney, federal Transportation Security Administration, FBI and city Medical Examiner’s office were investigating.
Last week, the body of a man in his 20s was found in the wheel well of a flight to Kennedy Airport from Montego Bay, Jamaica.
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Old 31st Dec 2003, 20:35
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Given the security climate, that's really worrying What if... etc.

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Old 31st Dec 2003, 20:45
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Very sad of course if true, and with security implications.

What I can't understand is why anyone would want to get into the US from the UK - may suggest that the unfortunate person originated on the previous sector.
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Old 31st Dec 2003, 21:26
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Doesn't say much for the walk-round, then.
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Old 31st Dec 2003, 21:58
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The unfortunate stowaway got on the aircraft at Cairo and flew with the aircraft on two sectors before being discovered.
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Old 31st Dec 2003, 22:12
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Maybe a naive question, but why can't the ground crew do a quick scan of all wheel wells just before push back? I would think that, in today's climate, it is a no brainer. If someone can get in so easily, what is to prevent them from bringing an altitude triggered device with them? REAL scary thought. Any comments from the ground handling community?
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Old 31st Dec 2003, 22:38
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I agree with patrical, It would be a novel idea to have the ground crew do a quick walk around prior to pushback. As an FE on a B-747 freighter I am required to do a walk around and lately I've been much more dilegent in inspecting the wheel wells for anything unusual but, the flight crew has no control once the doors are closed. Our employers may have to spend the extra nickle to the ground handlers to provide this extra service so , maybe that's why this service is not provided.
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Old 31st Dec 2003, 22:41
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I seem to recall that when a similar situation was recently discused on here it was mentioned that with some a/c it isn't all that easy to see up into the compartment (begs the question of how someone gets in there, I know!!) so a quick visual-check by the ground-handlers mightn't spot anything!! Comments were made (and quickly dismissed) about putting cameras in the wells linked to the flight-deck but I guess it really comes down to security at airfields particularly when at hold points prior to take-off
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Old 31st Dec 2003, 23:15
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sensors should be put in the wheel wells not cameras.....probably only cost the manufactures an extra grand or so to do this, even tho if it was a DIY job, around a tener would do it.
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Old 1st Jan 2004, 00:09
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From my recollection it is particularly difficult to inspect the main gear wheel wells on a 777 without dropping the doors. Not sure if this was a 777 mind.

Perhaps a policy of dropping the doors on types like the 777 and 747 should be considered.


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Exeng
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Old 1st Jan 2004, 00:37
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Here's an update on the story:

2nd stowaway at JFK

By MARTIN MBUGUA
DAILY NEWS POLICE BUREAU

A stowaway was found dead last night in the wheel well of a passenger jet that had flown to Kennedy Airport from London, authorities said.
It was the second time in a week that a dead stowaway turned up at the airport, raising further concerns about airline security while the nation is in a heightened state of alert because of terror threats.

Port Authority spokesman Tony Ciavolella said British Airways officials notified PA cops after the man's body was discovered during a maintenance inspection of the Boeing 747-400 about 6:30 p.m.

"It's really scary to know that people can just walk up to a plane that way in other countries," a law enforcement source said. "Obviously, the biggest threat is somebody who gets on a plane as a suicide bomber. He might not make it, but that stuff can go off, and where is the wheel well? Between the fuel tanks."

British Airways spokeswoman Honor Verrier said, "There did appear to be a body of an apparent stowaway."

Flight 177 originated in London, she said.

The law enforcement source said authorities were investigating whether the man had slipped aboard in Nigeria, where the plane had taken off Dec. 24. The source said the stowaway, who was black and in his 30s, was carrying Nigerian currency and wearing a wrist watch that stopped at 7 p.m. Christmas Eve.

Since last Wednesday, the plane has also made stops in Cairo, London, Washington and New York, the source said. He noted it was virtually impossible for anyone to survive a trip in a wheel well because of the freezing temperatures and oxygen deprivation at high altitudes.

The FBI has launched an investigation into the case.

Last week, a stowaway was found dead in the wheel well of an American Airlines jet at Kennedy.

The unidentified 25-year-old man was found on Christmas Eve by maintenance workers inspecting an aircraft that had arrived from Montego Bay, Jamaica.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/loca...p-132879c.html

_____________________________________________

It's a common story, often these incidents don't make the news in my experience. They occur quite frequently at international airports.

Here's some earlier threads on the sad subject:

http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthr...threadid=50291

http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthr...hreadid=107041

http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthr...threadid=79165

http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthr...threadid=77846

http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthr...&threadid=2140
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Old 1st Jan 2004, 00:43
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Being used to 707, 727 and 757's...check the bays on pushback or just prior to engine start...the only problem being access to MLG bays with engines running

In this case I suggest BA have to answer as to how many rotations this body remained in the wheel bay before being found - suggest 'turnaround check' should include check wheel bays?!

Very sad though
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Old 1st Jan 2004, 00:48
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Who's going to be dropping the gear doors and checking inside them - a lot of airlines don't have Engineers doing the push-backs now. Are you suggesting Loaders or Tug drivers?
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Old 1st Jan 2004, 01:01
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Jet 11

<<Are you suggesting Loaders or Tug drivers?>>

No I'm not. I am suggesting that if there is a security problem (which seems to be the case here) then that problem needs to be addressed. If that means allocating properly qualified people to the task then I'm sure the airlines will do so without thought to the cost. After all safety is their first priority right?


Regards
Exeng
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Old 1st Jan 2004, 01:14
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I'm sure the airlines will do so without thought to the cost. After all safety is their first priority right?
Very droll
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Old 1st Jan 2004, 01:26
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Well someone better start checking the wheel bays...bit out of touch still work with guys who have engineers do a turnaround...
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Old 1st Jan 2004, 03:57
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CCTV cameras have now become part of our daily lives. I think that they would be a big help in solving this problem.
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Old 1st Jan 2004, 04:26
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I think cameras in the MLG wells may be the best option. Some airports will always have crap security, and allow these people to stow away.

Why oh why in todays security climate people with ramp access are not screened like pax is beyond me. Even cargo from the "trusted shipper" scheme is not reguarly x-rayed and checked for explosives and the like.

I'm no security expert, but it seems to me like the weak link in the chain.
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Old 1st Jan 2004, 06:16
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We will start having u/c bays checked, just as soon as some poor sod on the ground has been killed by a 75kg human "bomb". It's only a matter of time.
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Old 1st Jan 2004, 08:51
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A wheel well inspection on the ramp prior to departure does not assure that someone can't get aboard later.
Desperate people who climb into wheel wells usually climb airport perimeter fences and position themselves at night beside the taxiways. Four years ago two young males had crowded into the nose wheel well of a taxiing DC8 en route CLO-MIA. Both had received fatal injuries during incomplete nose gear retraction and subsequent nose gear collapse after an air turn back to CLO.
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