Man survives 11 hours stowed away in aircraft undercarriage on flight from South Africa to Amsterdam

Most stowaway attempts end in death.
Most stowaway attempts end in death. Photo credit: Getty Images/Flight Mapper

A man has managed to survive stowing away in the landing gear of a flight from South Africa to Amsterdam's Schiphol.

The more than 11 hour cargo flight left Johannesburg, stopping over in Kenya before continuing on to Amsterdam where the man was discovered after the flight had landed.

It is extremely rare for stowaways to survive such attempts.  In January 2020 a person died after attempting to make the trip from Abidjan to Paris-Charles de Gaulle inside the landing gear area of an aircraft, and in 2019 a man fell to his death from a flight preparing to land in London.

"The man was found alive in the nose wheel section of the plane and was taken to hospital in a stable condition," a Royal Dutch Military Police spokesperson told media.

"It is quite remarkable that the man is still alive," they said.

A spokesperson for Cargolux confirmed to Reuters that the stowaway had been on a flight operated by Cargolux Italia.