Stowaway Hides In Landing Gear On flight To Miami

ARLINGTON, VA – NOVEMBER 23: An American Airlines plane takes off from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport November 23, 2021 in Arlington, Virginia.  Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP


US border officials in Miami said Sunday they had apprehended a 26-year-old man who had stowed away in the landing gear compartment of an aircraft arriving from Guatemala.

“The individual was evaluated by Emergency Medical Services and taken to a hospital for medical assessment,” said a statement from a US Customs and Border Protection spokesman.

There was no immediate information on the man’s identity or condition, though the risk of falling and the extreme cold at high altitude pose grave dangers.

The American Airlines flight from Guatemala lasted nearly three hours, the Miami Herald reported.

It posted a video showing a thin, bedraggled looking man sitting shakily on the tarmac near the plane’s landing gear as airport staff tried to help him.

In February 2018, two stowaways fell to their death from an airplane as it took off from an airport in Guayaquil, Ecuador on a flight to New York.

And during this summer’s chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan, a number of stowaways appeared to fall to their death from the undercarriage of airplanes evacuating people from Kabul airport.

“Persons are taking extreme risks when they try to conceal themselves in confined spaces such as an aircraft,” the Customs and Border Patrol statement said.

FAAN Reveals Identity Of Man Who Climbed Aircraft At Lagos Airport


The man who climbed on an Azman Aircraft waiting for clearance from Air Traffic Controllers at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos on Friday is Nigerien.

This is according to the Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Captain Rabiu Yadudu, who identified the man as one Mr Usman Adamu, who resides in Iyana Ipaja area of Lagos State.

The airside incursion led to the indefinite suspension of four Aviation Security unit heads.

Captain Yadudu, at a briefing in Kano on Saturday in reaction to the incident, said Adamu is currently with the Airport Police Command and the authorities consider it a serious security breach.

“The suspect identified as Usman Adamu, a Nigerien in origin and who claimed to reside in Iyana Ipaja, on the 19th of July was reported to have appeared at the domestic end of the taxiway and attempted to gain access to the aircraft while it was taxying to the holding point.

“He was apprehended, detained and is currently with the Airport police command as our investigation progresses.

“The authority considers this incident a serious security breach and an air sight incursion, this is unfortunate and embarrassing.”

RELATED: Man Arrested After Climbing Aircraft In Lagos Airport

Stowaway: FAAN Suspends Four Heads Of Aviation Security

The FAAN boss said efforts have been put in place to upgrade the security apparatus at the airport and the agency takes full responsibility for the incident.

“FAAN takes full responsibility for this incident as we remain fully committed to our core values.

“The Federal Government, through the Ministry of transport and the honourable minister of state for aviation, has assisted in awarding contracts for the fortification of perimeter fences through the erection of biometric security fences with intrusion detection devices and CCTV cameras with infrared capabilities for night activities. This is also in addition to observation towers being erected to ensure total coverage of the airport.

“We assure our esteemed travelling public that these measures will be upgraded, additional measures with regards to escorts of aircraft will also be intensified.”

Stowaway Teenager Didn’t Breach Security – FAAN

The General Manager of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Yakubu Dati, on Saturday said that the recent event which led to a teenage boy, Daniel Ihekina, hiding in the wheel well of a plane from Benin to Lagos is not the first of its kind, as such was recorded in 1928 for the first time.

“It is not a breach of security,” he said, while speaking on Sunrise, adding that “security is not a destination. It’s a process.”

He countered claims that the young boy carried out the act, undetected. “We need to get the issue in proper perspective and the case has been made clear. He was detected at the Benin airport.”

However, he admitted that “along the line, somebody did not play his role” which forms the basis of on-going investigation into the case.

He disclosed that a passenger had notified the cabin crew of strange movement when the plane was at take-off point and blamed the pilot for not aborting the flight for a proper check.

“It did not happen at the terminal” he said.

He assured that the authorities are looking into the situation but “in aviation, we don’t try to lay blames. What we try to see is find out what happened” as well as who did not play his role well and to ensure that there is no repeat.

He said the boy could have found his way through the 22 kilometer airport as well as through the perimeter fence which had broken down.

He added that not all Nigerian airports have complete perimeter fences, a situation the aviation minister, Stella Oduah, is working to change through the aviation master plan.