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Guatemalan stowaway, 26, is found in landing gear of American Airlines flight at Miami airport - surviving two-and-a-half hour journey at 33,000ft and temperatures as low as -54F

The man was taken to the hospital but CBP said he was unharmed. He is now in CBP custody
  • A Guatemalan man, 26, was found inside the landing gear of an American Airlines plane that landed in Miami on Saturday around 10am
  • He was turned over to US Customs and Border Protection and taken to the hospital for evaluation 
  • The man was trapped inside for two-and-a-half hours from Guatemala to Miami
  • According to the FAA, he is one of 129 people to attempt to stow away in the wheel wells since 1947 
  • The average flight cruises at an altitude between 30,000 and 42,000ft, reaching a temperature of -54 F and extremely low oxygen levels of around 6.3 percent
    An unidentified Guatemalan man, 26, was hiding on an American Airlines flight on Saturday that arrived in Miami at 10am
  • The video, attributed to the social media page Only in Dade on Instagram, showed the stowaway appearing dazed but otherwise unharmed, sitting on the tarmac beside the plane - dressed in blue jeans, a T-shirt, jacket and boots - as ground crew personnel tended to him and asked if he wanted some water.

    'Poor man. He just got here. Let him sit. Water! Bring water for him,' the person recording can be heard saying in the video. 'Are you okay? How do you feel?' they then ask the stowaway. 

    The man was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital but is reportedly unharmed. Footage showed apparent frostbite on his fingers. He is now in CBP custody and will likely face an expedited removal order. 

    The average commercial flight cruises at an altitude between 30,000 and 42,000 feet, reaching a temperature of -54 F and extremely low oxygen levels of around 6.3percent, similar to being inside a hipoxyco chamber. 

    Stowaway found hiding in landing gear of AA flight from Guatemala
    An unidentified Guatemalan man, 26, was hiding on an American Airlines flight on Saturday that arrived in Miami at 10am

    An unidentified Guatemalan man, 26, was hiding on an American Airlines flight on Saturday that arrived in Miami at 10am

    He was hiding in the landing gear compartment to avoid being detected on the two-and-half-hour flight from his home country. The FDA reports he is one of 129 who have hidden in the wheel wells since 1947

    He was hiding in the landing gear compartment to avoid being detected on the two-and-half-hour flight from his home country. The FDA reports he is one of 129 who have hidden in the wheel wells since 1947

    According to the FAA, 129 people have attempted to stow away in the wheel wells or other areas of commercial aircraft worldwide since 1947. Of those, the agency said, 100 have died of injuries or exposure, a fatality rate of 71percent.

    'I imagine that all that part where the landing gear goes does not have the same pressurization as the area where the passengers go. On airplanes, for example, the luggage area has certain conditions; however, they must also have a part of the compartments where they carry pets. The air is more tolerable there,' Luis Chinchilla, a strategic security consultant, told the Guatemalan outlet LaHora.gt.

    Despite the lack of pressurization and personal 02 equipment, hot hydraulic lines in the wheel and initially hot tires could have provided the significant heat that helped the man survive, according to a report by the Federal Aviation Administration. 

    It is unclear how the man also managed to avoid being crushed by the wheels once they retracted upon take off. 

    'US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Miami International Airport apprehended a 26-year-old man who attempted to evade detection in the landing gear compartment of an aircraft arriving from Guatemala Saturday morning,' the CBP said in a statement.

    Hot hydraulic lines in the wheel and initially hot tires could have provided the significant heat that helped the man survive inside a landing gear compartment like the one pictured
    He also managed to avoid being crushed by the wheels once they retracted upon take off

    Hot hydraulic lines in the wheel and initially hot tires could have provided the significant heat that helped the man survive inside a landing gear compartment like the one pictured. He also managed to avoid being crushed by the wheels once they retracted upon take off

    Guatemalan found in landing gear of American Airline plane in Miami

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Comment by John Smith on March 4, 2022 at 1:32am

Thank God..

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Comment by Database Certificates on December 3, 2021 at 2:44pm

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Comment by Jeffrey L Donovan on November 30, 2021 at 1:28pm

Let him stay in the Us, he is the real Superman.

Comment by vaughn mitchell on November 30, 2021 at 8:15am
Damn, that's tough , he did all of that to get deported. When people in the U. S. Complain about not having certain things, better education, live in the projects, visit countries where people are escaping from to come here.
Comment by Yasmin on November 29, 2021 at 8:19pm

WTF are you talking about how do you know he having hardship?? And I don't give a damn whatbtype of hardship he's having he with all the rest of these flea bag immigrants need to take their asses back where they came from and yes I will continue to leave my privileged life.

Comment by SCARPION GIRL on November 29, 2021 at 7:38pm

Obviously, some people have never experienced hardship in their life, "Yasmin"! I hope your life will continue to be a privileged one.   

Comment by Yasmin on November 29, 2021 at 1:07pm

Send that flea bag back to where he came from he probably has some type of disease ir is a criminal.

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