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Wheelwell Stowaway Survives

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Wheelwell Stowaway Survives

Old 10th Dec 2002, 00:49
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Wheelwell Stowaway Survives

Cuban sneaks into Canada hidden under airplane Cuban sneaks into Canada hidden under airplane[/URL] from CBC News.

Looks like he had some technical knowledge as he reportedly used "hot air tubes" for heat and oxygen plus he knew where he could fit.

The article mentions that a number of wheelwell stowaways fall to their deaths when the gear comes down as if being at 30,000 plus at -50 for a few hours wouldn't usually have done the job already.

How long would you last in street clothes on top of Everest without oxygen.

Edited to fix link . . . McD

Last edited by McD; 10th Dec 2002 at 01:44.
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Old 10th Dec 2002, 01:38
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It was reported to be a DC-10. Whose? I'm curious.

Last I heard, we didn't regard Cuba a a counrty to be fleeing from for asylum reasons. I mean we operate so many recreation flights there. Lucky bastard. Really lucky.
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Old 10th Dec 2002, 02:14
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The CBC said that it was a Cubana flight and that he stayed warm by cosying up to some heated (presumably bleed air) lines in the gear bay area.
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Old 10th Dec 2002, 02:49
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Unhappy

This is a perennial news story at international airports. Some of these incidents make the news but others are handled rather quietly.

At NRT they got tired of having bodies fall onto houses and now have you drop your gear out over the water on many published arrivals.

A quote from the first article below: "It's horrific. Every year, we have between six or 10 cases of people dying as they try to make their way here. "


http://www.guardian.co.uk/airlines/s...854754,00.html

http://news.airwise.com/stories/2000/09/969366040.html

http://www.ardmoreite.com/stories/022001/new_well.shtml

http://news.screaminglemur.com/stories/20010808body.htm

http://www.worldpaper.com/2000/may2000/vittachi.html

There are occasional survivors:

http://news.airwise.com/stories/2000/08/965470357.html

At least one scholarly article has been written on this unfortunate mode of transportation:

http://www.asma.org/Publication/abst...7n8/67-784.htm

Here's an earlier PPRuNe thread on the survival aspects:

http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthr...threadid=50291
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Old 10th Dec 2002, 05:01
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Looks like he had some technical knowledge as he reportedly used "hot air tubes" for heat and oxygen plus he knew where he could fit.

Geez, if he was that smart why did he have to stow-away? Wouldn't be easier to con his way into getting a ticket?
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Old 10th Dec 2002, 13:48
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Wink

Thanks for all the links Airbubba but is your life that dull at the moment?
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Old 10th Dec 2002, 16:33
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Airbubba. I think you'll find the Narita procedure is due to their view of the risk of blue ice, not bodies falling onto the rice paddies.

Never understood the purpose of gear down prior to the coast anyway. We seem to drop the gear over the beach as I'm sure most pilots do which would put any blue ice or wheel bay stowaways on a trajectory for contact with the ground anyway.
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Old 10th Dec 2002, 17:15
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>>Airbubba. I think you'll find the Narita procedure is due to their view of the risk of blue ice, not bodies falling onto the rice paddies.<<

Blue Ice comes from the lav, not the gear well on the planes I fly... But you are right, the ice is the "official" reason for the gear down at the coast at Narita.
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Old 10th Dec 2002, 18:10
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DC-10. Whose?

Cubana leases DC-10s from AOM (France). Wet lease I think.
Their Cuba-Canada schedules indicate A320s on all flights, and the fact this happened at Mirabel (not Dorval) suggests a charter.
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Old 10th Dec 2002, 18:23
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So, if desparate Cubans can stow away

its not that much of a stretch to think you could replace the Cuban with someone with more evil intent

or if you can't be bothered in person, just leave a few devices so when the wheels come down so does everything else.

Hi tech devices for protecting planes are all very well, but it would be as well to do the basics right first.
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Old 10th Dec 2002, 22:46
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I know all the various news reports are calling it a DC-10, but I've also seen someone demonstrating how the gear works using a TU-154 model and the only TV footage of the (alleged) a/c shows a TU-154. ???
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Old 11th Dec 2002, 14:40
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RT, according to La Presse the actual a/c departed about 2 hours
after landing. La Presse mentions that detail because they are
raising questions about the Cuban's story.

"Le réfugié cubain était-il caché dans l'avion?"

BTW, a Gazette story says that of 126 Cuban claims for asylum
processed January through September, 92 have been accepted.
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Old 11th Dec 2002, 21:16
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According to the above cited article, there is a 45 cm. passage in the DC-10 [nose] landing gear that leads directly to the cockpit [more likely nose bay].

If so, there would have to be a door through the pressure vessel.

The stowaway jumped out as the groundcrew was about to plug in the GPU and was in good enough shape to take off running.

Could have been an inside job in more than one way
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Old 12th Dec 2002, 06:44
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Access Door

The DC-10 does have an avionics access door at the forward bulkhead of the nose wheel well. It can be opened from outside as well as inside. It opens up just behind the main radio rack and would offer a cozy and warm journey. Depending upon the airline, the in-flight service may be equally as good! From in there, one could reach the cables and chains that control the stabilizer, or pop up into the flight deck. Scary...
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Old 12th Dec 2002, 12:25
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There was a recent Aircrew Notices(Misc) thread about a/c it was possible to board via the nose wheel - quite a lot as it turned out.
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Old 12th Dec 2002, 12:41
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Would there be a door warning light?
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Old 12th Dec 2002, 12:55
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IS this covered with the armored, locked door and jimmy bars on US reg. a/c?
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Old 13th Dec 2002, 15:56
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Jetboy, you are correct about the access door fwd in the nose wheel well fwd bulkhead. It is also simple to get to, just climb up the nose leg on the steering jacks and walk across the gear doors. Safe in less than 30 seconds and a nice warm, pressurised environment. We currently have security seals on the outside of these doors on all MD11/MD10/DC10 fleets that are inspected and signed-for prior to each departure.
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Old 13th Dec 2002, 19:15
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I recently attended a CAA General Aviation safety presentation evening. The most interesting part was when the Doctor who is on the GA safety team talked about - guess what, stowaways in wheel well bays. Not a lot to do with GA, but interesting nonetheless.

So he asked the audience, which varied from PPL students, Instructors to commercial jet airliner pilots, what we thought the temperature in a wheel well bay is during the cruise. Consensus was well its probably about -30 degrees celcius (outside would be about -50 so about -30 allowing for a bit off skin friction heating etc).

How wrong we all were. The example the Doctor used, was a flight of about 9 to 10 hours on a 747, from Florida/Caribbean to the UK. The studies done have shown the following:

In the first hour the temperature can be up +50 deg celcius - why, because the brakes and tyres are hot from taxi and take off. So the first problem for your stowaway is being to hot. The temperature then drops and levels at around -4 deg celcius during the cruise (no colder than Dartmoor really) - why, because the wheel well bay has pipes passing through. What are they - the bleed air going to the air conditioning system. And as the pressure drops and with it the temperature the oxygen requirement for our stowaway drops too. So although he will be unconcious by about 2 hours into the flight, he can still survive.

What kills most of them is when the crew select "gear down" and the stowaway falls out. As we used to say in the Fleet Air Arm, the ground has a probability of kill off 1.
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Old 14th Dec 2002, 16:35
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Le clandestin cubain libéré sous caution

The Cuban stowaway (or nonpaying passenger or whatever) has been freed
from detention on CDN$3000 bond paid by the Cuban community.

According to the La Presse story "aucune enquête policière n'a été
déclenchée, ni d'ADM, ni de la GRC, ni du Service de police de la Ville de
Montréal."

You'd think that authorities would want to do everything possible to discourage
wheel well travel, including debunking this story. As things stand, it appears
to be only an immigration matter.


The temperature then drops and levels at around -4 deg celcius during the cruise.


timzsta, You refer to a 9 to 10 hour flight in a 747. The PPRuNe thread
whose link is in Airbubba's post refers to an 8 hour 747 Papeete-LAX flight
after which a stowaway wrapped in a blanket was pulled from a wheel well.
His inner temperature was 79F. The doctor you cite seems to have an actual
experiment in mind but the conclusions don't seem to match the evidence.
There was a lot of discussion concerning temperatures in the previous
PPRuNe thread.
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