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Stowaway Falls

Old 2nd Jul 2019, 16:33
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ascend Charlie View Post
Shouldn't this be in the Darwin thread?

My feelings entirely. He won't do it again . . .
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 17:01
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Maninthebar View Post
..... but there is a risk that it understates 'successful' migrations where the individual has evaded detection at both ends of their journey.
If they evade detection at both ends of their journey, how does anyone know to add them to any statistics ???

If there are scanners that can detect stowaways on trucks entering the UK at the docks, can't there be a similar hand-held device with which aircraft wheel wells can be checked? Bit of an over-kill (sorry) as it cannot happen very often and I dare say not many can attempt this activity at one go.
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 17:13
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Maninthebar View Post
Now not all of those will have been in the wheel-well, though the Beeb does name survivors for that case, but there is a risk that it understates 'successful' migrations where the individual has evaded detection at both ends of their journey.
It would be more accurate to say that only a very small proportion of stowaways who survive have travelled in a wheel-well. The rest will have been in a cargo hold or other pressurised compartment. The statistics probably underestimate the imbalance, since the wheel-well occupants are more likely not to figure at all in the stats if their fallen bodies have remained undiscovered.

While it's always difficult to counter misconceptions among the vulnerable, I can't help feeling that education would help. If potential wheel-well stowaways could understand that the odds of survival are hugely stacked against them (even compared to, say, a RIB across the Med) then perhaps we might see an end to these tragedies.
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 17:24
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Paul Lupp View Post
If they evade detection at both ends of their journey, how does anyone know to add them to any statistics ???

If there are scanners that can detect stowaways on trucks entering the UK at the docks, can't there be a similar hand-held device with which aircraft wheel wells can be checked? Bit of an over-kill (sorry) as it cannot happen very often and I dare say not many can attempt this activity at one go.
They stick CO2 probes in the truck at the ports.

​​​​​​The concerns about security at African Airports rather amuse me. Not so many years ago when I was working in Nigeria I watched a local chap wander across the runway at Benin City with a load of fire wood balanced on his head and who can blame him. It looked very heavy so why not take a couple of miles short cut.
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 17:31
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by JagRigger View Post
I recall years ago reading a story in Readers Digest of two African stowaways, and how they planned and executed their 'escape' . They jumped on the bogies / into the bays as the aircraft lined up to roll.
One died on take off, but from memory the second did ( just ) survive

edit - post an article just read it may be a Cuban one Iím thinking of 1969
I even found the article https://www.rd.com/true-stories/surv...rom-cuba-dc-8/
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 17:49
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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Famous photo from 1970 https://www.vintag.es/2018/05/keith-sapsford.html


There was a photo shown on the BBC news of the indentation the London faller made on a concrete path. Nasty.
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 18:10
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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I would suggest a ground crew member made it be known that for $$$ a blind eye would be turned and even a helping hand given to the stowaway.
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 18:10
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Despite a few apparently credible accounts to the contrary, I have a great deal of difficulty understanding how anyone could survive a ride of several hours in the wheel well of a modern transport category aircraft. If the stowaway is not dislodged during the takeoff, then he most survive the possibility of being crushed by the retracting gear, then he must survive the extreme cold of high altitude flight, then he must survive on the meager oxygen available at 30+ thousand foot altitudes, then he must survive falling from the wheel well upon gear extension, then he must survive the landing impact, then he must survive the anger of upset gate agents, etc., etc., etc. Too many "if situations" in that entire scenario for me to wrap the remains of my brane around.

Cheers,
Grog
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 22:03
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Several years ago there was a documented case of a teenager who survived after stowing away in the wheel well of a flight from the US mainland to Hawaii (~5-6 hours). IIRC, they figure the cold slowed his metabolism enough that he was able to survive the lack of oxygen at altitude. I suspect being young and relatively healthy helped as well.
That being said, the probability of survival has to be pretty minimal.
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 22:43
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by capngrog View Post
Despite a few apparently credible accounts to the contrary, I have a great deal of difficulty understanding how anyone could survive a ride of several hours in the wheel well of a modern transport category aircraft. If the stowaway is not dislodged during the takeoff, then he most survive the possibility of being crushed by the retracting gear, then he must survive the extreme cold of high altitude flight, then he must survive on the meager oxygen available at 30+ thousand foot altitudes, then he must survive falling from the wheel well upon gear extension, then he must survive the landing impact, then he must survive the anger of upset gate agents, etc., etc., etc. Too many "if situations" in that entire scenario for me to wrap the remains of my brane around.
Yes, it would be interesting to analyse the few known instances of survivors to see if there was any pattern, for example aircraft type, etc.

It would be reasonable to expect that shorter sectors and/or those flown at a lower FL might be more survivable, for instance.

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Old 3rd Jul 2019, 00:12
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
Yes, it would be interesting to analyse the few known instances of survivors to see if there was any pattern, for example aircraft type, etc.

It would be reasonable to expect that shorter sectors and/or those flown at a lower FL might be more survivable, for instance.

I read somewhere that radiated heat from the tyres and hydraulic systems can provide some warmth but presumably only on the first 30-60 minutes of the flight. In fact I wonder how hot those tyres would be after sitting on a hot African tarmac for 2- 4 hours then charging down the runway at max AUW? And what a frightening moment. The engine noise so close and then this massive bogie with wheels spinning at take off speeds before they are braked, aggressively enters your living spaces like some screaming monster who is really pi**ed at you for squatting in his cave!!! Now how close are you to those hot tyres?

I think in the same article I read, as others have suggested here, the mind numbing cold is literally that. The brain cools down and needs less O2 to survive. One assumes, that the stowaways first actions after take-off, when the temps start dropping, is to snuggle on top of a now only warm tyres. Soon after, unconsciousness and/or a form of hibernation is entered due to the extreme cold and O2 depletion. On destination arrival It's quite conceivable, the illegal passenger (if not already dead) is unlikely to be alert enough to the fact that the landing gear they initially laid down on is now descending.

Edit: Let's add another scenario to that. Wet runway. Spinning wheels coming at you. Water blasted and thoroughly soaked seconds after take off. Soon to be at -53 degrees.......

Last edited by Lord Farringdon; 3rd Jul 2019 at 00:17. Reason: Additional comment added.
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Old 3rd Jul 2019, 00:20
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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For me , I am a bit sceptical of the latest claim, a body falls near a man sunbathing in a garden in Clapham...

Clapham + sunbathing is so far out there.

Want to bet he claims PTSD from it?
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Old 3rd Jul 2019, 03:06
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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I heard that he had a falling out with Kenya Airways.
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Old 3rd Jul 2019, 04:20
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Lord Farringdon View Post
I read somewhere that radiated heat from the tyres and hydraulic systems can provide some warmth but presumably only on the first 30-60 minutes of the flight. In fact I wonder how hot those tyres would be after sitting on a hot African tarmac for 2- 4 hours then charging down the runway at max AUW? And what a frightening moment. The engine noise so close and then this massive bogie with wheels spinning at take off speeds before they are braked, aggressively enters your living spaces like some screaming monster who is really pi**ed at you for squatting in his cave!!! Now how close are you to those hot tyres?

I think in the same article I read, as others have suggested here, the mind numbing cold is literally that. The brain cools down and needs less O2 to survive. One assumes, that the stowaways first actions after take-off, when the temps start dropping, is to snuggle on top of a now only warm tyres. Soon after, unconsciousness and/or a form of hibernation is entered due to the extreme cold and O2 depletion. On destination arrival It's quite conceivable, the illegal passenger (if not already dead) is unlikely to be alert enough to the fact that the landing gear they initially laid down on is now descending.

Edit: Let's add another scenario to that. Wet runway. Spinning wheels coming at you. Water blasted and thoroughly soaked seconds after take off. Soon to be at -53 degrees.......
Very good realistic post. I wish the next candidate could read it and understand it's suicidal to try. In most cases I am sure local authority helps getting onboard promising everything will be fine in exchange of money.

I've flown a lot out of West African airports and I was always impressed by the security around the aircraft. They check (or pretend to) every person coming close. There is no way a random person can just approach the plane and get in. But why not go into the cargo hold instead? Easier to hide behind all the luggage I would think, and safer.
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Old 3rd Jul 2019, 07:00
  #35 (permalink)  
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Yes indeed safer in the cargo hold but a bit scary if you do so when the aircraft is off to do a four man base check detail as happened in Kuwait Airways in late 70's when on the B707 we did alternate base checks on the aircraft would you believe and several of us being checked set off doing steep turns etc when we heard a banging noise. The F/E was sent below into the lower 41 and through the small glass hole he saw a startled figure which was a Baluchi loader who had gone into the forward hold to get out of the sun and fell asleep. We were forced to do a full stop landing to let him out and then continued on! I guess he had a story to tell his mates.
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Old 3rd Jul 2019, 12:35
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Just because they’re not there on a walk round, doesn’t mean they can’t get through a hole in the fence and join the aircraft on taxy out. Not all airports are as secure as people think, particularly in the Third World.

I remember vaguely, a story where a stowaway had made it to Heathrow, and was found wondering around the apron one morning. The skipper of the flight who found out it was his aircraft the stowaway was on, was so appalled at this person’s desperation, that he went through the process to adopt him....maybe someone can add more to this, but it’s disappointing to see some of the joke comments made about someone taking extreme measures to escape a life somewhere in hope of a better one somewhere else.
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Old 3rd Jul 2019, 13:05
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Akrapovic View Post
Just because theyíre not there on a walk round, doesnít mean they canít get through a hole in the fence and join the aircraft on taxy out. Not all airports are as secure as people think, particularly in the Third World.

I remember vaguely, a story where a stowaway had made it to Heathrow, and was found wondering around the apron one morning. The skipper of the flight who found out it was his aircraft the stowaway was on, was so appalled at this personís desperation, that he went through the process to adopt him....maybe someone can add more to this, but itís disappointing to see some of the joke comments made about someone taking extreme measures to escape a life somewhere in hope of a better one somewhere else.
I agree, your life must be pretty awful to attempt stowing away on an aircraft.
Re. Security at many African airports, whist the terminal areas are generally pretty secure a lot of the airport fencing and general security is poor, there's also a huge amount of corruption so passing a couple of $$ to someone for airside access would be pretty easy.
This is one of the reasons your handbagage is checked at the foot of the entry steps at many airports.
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Old 3rd Jul 2019, 13:37
  #39 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Lord Farringdon View Post
...one related to a freeloading passenger flying fourth class in the wheel bay.
I heard that Ryanair were going to start charging for this seat.... extra too, as it has more legroom!
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Old 3rd Jul 2019, 14:55
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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I'd stash myself away in Hold 5. Nice and warm, and comfy in there. If it has one.
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