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Stowaway Falls

Old 1st Jul 2019, 17:49
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Stowaway Falls

Sad when this happens but it does raise concerns re the security or lack thereof at the origin airport.


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Old 1st Jul 2019, 18:19
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BBC news item is here - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-48830212
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Old 1st Jul 2019, 21:20
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Originally Posted by sooty655 View Post
Very sad but how do you convince uneducated people who want to stowaway they will die in a wheel well?

Perhaps a better walkaround at certain airports?
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Old 1st Jul 2019, 22:23
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Originally Posted by Mike Flynn View Post


Very sad but how do you convince uneducated people who want to stowaway they will die in a wheel well?

Perhaps a better walkaround at certain airports?
It would need a bit more than a better walk around.
You would need to open the MLG Doors and then climb up the door to inspect the MLG Bay.
The MLG Doors would then stay open till the relevant hydraulic system is activated and the doors are closed.
This delay could give the opportunity for more stowaways.
There's no simple solution, especially given the airport security or lack of in some parts of the world.
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Old 1st Jul 2019, 22:33
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Originally Posted by Webby737 View Post
It would need a bit more than a better walk around.
You would need to open the MLG Doors and then climb up the door to inspect the MLG Bay.
The MLG Doors would then stay open till the relevant hydraulic system is activated and the doors are closed.
This delay could give the opportunity for more stowaways.
There's no simple solution, especially given the airport security or lack of in some parts of the world.
And you would hope that aircraft servicing personnel who might yet aspire to a better life in the first world would be warned against the dangers of trying to stow-away.
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 00:48
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Well this does highlight a security concern but not one related to a freeloading passenger flying fourth class in the wheel bay. The bigger concern is that this demonstrates the ease at which a stowaway gained access to the wheel bay. The apparent inability of ground maintenance staff to sensibly check the area 'clear' just prior to push back is of even greater concern since this means that a person (or group) could easily have placed a ruck sack of explosives with associated air pressure or timer trigger in the wheel bay and unless they were seeking both mayhem and martyrdom, would have no need to travel at all. Now I know that these stowaway events are rare in comparison to total flights (and associated with airfields where security is weak or almost non existent) but with all the camera technology available today, couldn't wheel bay areas be monitored? I'm not thinking just stowaways here but for maintenance staff checking before pressurisng hydraulic systems or activating gear doors during maintenance, area 'clear' check before pushback (stowaways, unusual packages, left behind maintenance equipment), and after take off checks looking for smoke, fire, tyre or wheel or hydraulic or landing gear damage. I seem to think I have seen this on some aircraft but perhaps they were new aircraft undergoing trials?

Last edited by Lord Farringdon; 2nd Jul 2019 at 00:54. Reason: grammar /spelling
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 00:58
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Now I know that these stowaway events are rare in comparison to total flights
How do we know. This one only came to light because the body fell into a suburban area.
Think of all the areas under approach paths around the world that are not suburban areas buy water, forests etc..
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 02:36
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Originally Posted by 601 View Post
How do we know. This one only came to light because the body fell into a suburban area.
Think of all the areas under approach paths around the world that are not suburban areas buy water, forests etc..

Well you go by the number '601' (numerolgy?, Angel number perhaps?) so that might be why you present a riddle rather than a fact , Sooo...you mean like if a stowaway fell out of aircraft but there was no one to see it, did it actually happen? That's the same as if a tree falls in a forest and there is no one there to hear it, does it make a sound or, if no one looked at the moon ever, would it exist and if no one ever looked at it how could you prove or disprove its existence? Philosophical's aside, what I am saying is that the number of 'recorded' stowaway events does not seem on it's own to warrant the fitment of wheel bay cameras to every commercial airliner capable of secreting a stowaway passenger. The number of philosophical opportunities for it happen, even less so. But the point of my post was that there are many more daily security and operational requirements (including the detection of stowaways) that might warrant the fitment of wheel bay cameras and I thought someone who knows might be able to answer if this is being done today?
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 05:18
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Shouldn't this be in the Darwin thread?
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 05:59
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Originally Posted by Webby737 View Post
There's no simple solution, especially given the airport security or lack of in some parts of the world.
^^This, very much this ^^.

I certainly wouldn't rush to criticise the standard of walk arounds and/or vigilance of flight crew and ground crew in the case in question until we find out exactly when the stowaway got into the wheel well - if we ever do.
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 06:16
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"A bag, water and food were discovered in the plane's landing-gear compartment after it landed"

How did he get water through security???
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 06:26
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Originally Posted by blue up View Post
"A bag, water and food were discovered in the plane's landing-gear compartment after it landed"

How did he get water through security???
In the context of this thread be careful of using a "European"/Western World model when it comes to airports worldwide, and everything that goes with them.

I'm not going to spell it out but have a think about what myself and Webby might have meant when we mentioned the lack of airport security in some parts of the world..and consider that there is much more to airport security than scanners ( but before anyone asks, yes Nairobi does use scanners at security).

Last edited by wiggy; 2nd Jul 2019 at 06:48.
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 08:03
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A sad occurrence, which has happened on a a good number of occasions over the years going into LHR. Most of the occurrences happened in the Putney/Mortlake/Richmond areas, where descending aircraft seem to lower their wheels in preparation for landing. I don't recall ever hearing about bodies falling out over Windsor etc when the aircraft are landing from the West. Perhaps it's as previously said, that the more rural the approach, the less likely that the stowaway's body would be found , let alone noticed. Maybe bodies have fallen out over the brief moments the landing aircraft have been over the River Thames and have been reported at some later date as unknown, presumed drowned/murdered and disposed of ? In this day and age of technology would it be too difficult to install a small device that would be able to scan for anomalies (human/animal/insect) in the MLG area ?
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 08:16
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Originally Posted by SpringHeeledJack View Post
A sad occurrence, which has happened on a a good number of occasions over the years going into LHR. Most of the occurrences happened in the Putney/Mortlake/Richmond areas, where descending aircraft seem to lower their wheels in preparation for landing. I don't recall ever hearing about bodies falling out over Windsor etc when the aircraft are landing from the West. Perhaps it's as previously said, that the more rural the approach, the less likely that the stowaway's body would be found, let alone noticed.
I don't think any conclusions can be drawn from that.

The number of bodies known to have fallen from aircraft approaching LHR would be more accurately described as "a handful" rather than "a good number of occasions", so the fact none have been found under the 09 approaches (which only account for about 30% of landings) is of doubtful statistical significance.
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 10:49
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There was a newspaper photo from Sydney back in the 70s, where a stowaway in the wheel well was sitting on the flipper door. After takeoff, raise the wheels, flipper door flops open and...the cameraman was taking a random pic of a departing jet and got the body dropping from the plane.
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 11:48
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From a neighbour...
"Positive Rate, Gear up, Gear down, Gear up" "Problem solved."
Not a very tactful comment.
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 12:42
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Glad they were on 27L at the time as if on 27R he might have dropped in on us uninvited.
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 13:04
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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

Last edited by JagRigger; 2nd Jul 2019 at 14:56.
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 13:25
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Originally Posted by Ascend Charlie View Post
Shouldn't this be in the Darwin thread?
Not really. These sad people are not stupid, just lacking in education and do not realise they are signing their own death warrant the second they climb into the wheel well.
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 16:23
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Originally Posted by ZFT View Post
Not really. These sad people are not stupid, just lacking in education and do not realise they are signing their own death warrant the second they climb into the wheel well.
Actually, that's an incorrect characterisation. Folk are desperate, and they are almost certainly aware that some survive. The BBC reports that the FAA identifies a survival rate of about 25% for 'stowaways'.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-33199985

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.
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