Stowaway Survives Two Hours Inside a Boeing 737’s Wheel Well

It was stated in a report by NBC News that a 26-year-old man was found stowed away in a plane’s landing gear compartment at Miami International Airport on the morning of Saturday, Nov. 27.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency released a statement saying that the man was apprehended after he “attempted to evade detection in the landing gear compartment of an aircraft arriving from Guatemala.” The investigation is still in progress.

The man was checked by the emergency medical team and then taken to a hospital.

American Airlines says that the flight on which the man was stowed away was flight 1182 from Guatemala City to Miami. It had a duration of 2 hours and 37 minutes and was undertaken by a Boeing 737-800. It is a miracle how the man withstood exposure to extreme temperatures and a lack of oxygen during the flight.

It is a very life-threatening stunt to pull but there are a few things that help the stowaways survive. The passenger airline has a lot of weight, and it creates an ample amount of friction when it takes off. This causes the tires to get heated. This heat along with the heat generated in the hydraulic lines keeps the stowaways warm.

The commercial flights fly at a height between 31,000 and 38,000 feet (5.9 and 7.2 miles). When a person is deprived of oxygen at these heights, it can cause severe brain damage and eventually cause death.  

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), temperatures in non-pressurized, non-climate-controlled parts of a passenger plane can drop to 65 degrees below zero. This means that most of the people who try to hide in the airplane’s wheel are set to pass away with hypothermia or hypoxia, and they are also at risk of being crushed by heavy equipment such as the aircraft’s wheels. In fact, the FAA says some 129 people have attempted to stow away in commercial aircraft since 1947, and only 29 of those survived. 

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