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Stowaway Found Alive in 737 Landing Gear

A man survived an over two hour flight in the wheel well of a Boeing 737.

An Air Algerie 737-800 (Photo: Anna Zvereva / Wikimedia Commons)

A stowaway was found alive in the landing gear of an Air Algerie 737-800 on Thursday morning after a flight from Oran, Algeria to Paris’ Orly Airport. The man, who was between the ages of 20 and 30 years old, was rushed to a local hospital in critical condition, according to reports.

Per FlightRadar24 data, flight AH1060 arrived in Paris after a nearly two and a half hour duration, cruising at 36,000 feet. The man was reportedly discovered during a routine maintenance inspection shortly after landing.

Beating the Odds

There have been a handful of stowaway incidents in recent years, including a more recent one also involving Air Algerie. In June 2022, two corpses were found in the hold of one of the airline’s A330 aircraft after a turnaround flight to Barcelona. It was later revealed that the two men were brothers.

Earlier this year, an Avianca A320neo aircraft likely flew around Latin America for several days before authorities discovered the bodies of two stowaways in a gear well. The bodies were found during a routine maintenance inspection.

Between 1947 and 2012, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) data indicates that roughly 96 individuals attempted to stowaway on commercial flights. However, very few survive the harsh conditions; over 70% do not survive.

Freezing temperatures coupled with limited oxygen at high altitudes often create a life-threatening situation. Landing gear wells are not pressurized on airliners.

Ryan Ewing
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  • Ryan Ewing

    Ryan founded AirlineGeeks.com back in February 2013 and has amassed considerable experience in the aviation sector. His work has been featured in several publications and news outlets, including CNN, WJLA, CNET, and Business Insider. During his time in the industry, he's worked in roles pertaining to airport/airline operations while holding a B.S. in Air Transportation Management from Arizona State University along with an MBA. Ryan has experience in several facets of the industry from behind the yoke of a Cessna 172 to interviewing airline industry executives. Ryan works for AirlineGeeks' owner FLYING Media, spearheading coverage in the commercial aviation space.

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