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8 Unbelievable Plane Stowaway Survival Stories

According to the Federal Aviation Aviation Administration, the chances of surviving in the wheel well of a plane since 1947 is merely 20.3 percent.

8 Unbelievable Plane Stowaway Survival Stories

8 Unbelievable Plane Stowaway Survival Stories

8 Unbelievable Plane Stowaway Survival Stories

The reason the survival rate is so low is because of the insane drop in temperature, barely any oxygen and the unpressurized environment.

People believe that the only way people survived these incidents, is out of luck and that the body tends to slow down its breathing and its heartbeat while cellular activity nearly stops.

Here are eight incidents where people unbelievably survived being stuck in a plane's stowaway:

1. Yahya Abdi, a 15 year old traveled from California to Hawaii in a wheel well of a Boeing 767. 

Yahya ran away from home and jumped the fence of the Mineta International Airport in San Jose and hid in the rear left wheel well. His plan was to reunite with his mother who he just found out was still alive contrary to his what his father made him believe. 

When the plane landed, Yahya regained consciousness and walked off onto the tarmac, unharmed and approached by the authorities. 

8 Unbelievable Plane Stowaway Survival Storiesphoto source via CBS Local | Reuters

2. In 2013, Daniel Ihekina got on a plane he thought was headed to America. The reason he survived is believed to be because of the short length of the flight and since the flight was so short, its altitude only reached 21,000 feet. Instead of heading to America, like he thought it would, it landed in Lagos. 

The amusing thing about this case is that he hopped in the wheel well because he wanted to avoid mistreatment by his parents. 

8 Unbelievable Plane Stowaway Survival Stories
photo source via Green Biro | via Telegraph

3. Two Indian brothers in 1996 hid in a stowaway.

One of the brothers, 19-year-old Vijay Saini was already dead when he fell out and dropped from 2000 feet in the air. Pardeep, his brother, survived the 10-hour flight from Delhi, India to London, England somehow. Pardeep explained their dire situation in India, which is why they did whatever they could to escape. It turns out they had been linked to Sikh militants and were told they could leave safely in the wheel well. Once inside the wheel well they realized it wasn't safe at all, but it was too late at this point. 

Pardeep being the only survivor, woke up, uncoordinated, stumbled onto the tarmac and was barely able to speak. He was immediately taken to the hospital to be seen for hypothermia. 

The pilot, Captain Post, later wrote to him a light-hearted congratulatory message "I hope that in the future I may have the pleasure of carrying you as a legitimate passenger on the INSIDE of the airplane."

8 Unbelievable Plane Stowaway Survival Stories
photo source via WCVB | via The Free Library

4. A cuban refugee hopped on a plane to Montreal in a windbreaker.

Victor Alvarez Molina hid in the landing gear of an airplane leaving Havana to Montreal. The temperature went down to -55 degrees Fahrenheit when the plane reached cruising altitude. During the four-hour flight, Victor became hypothermic but was saved by a broken compartment pipe that let out warm air. 

When he got off, he was taken to the hospital and was granted refugee status by Canada.

8 Unbelievable Plane Stowaway Survival Stories
photo source via Nowhere Mag | via High Beam

5. In 1928, Clarence Terhune stowed away on a Zeppelin. 

19-year-old Clarence did this out of a bet with his brother, when it landed he was arrested though he was immediately released in Germany and was greeted as if he was a hero. 

8 Unbelievable Plane Stowaway Survival Stories
photo source via Wikimedia | via Zeppelin Stowaway 

6. Two Cuban friends stowed away to escape the Cuban regime in search of freedom.

Hoping to escape Cuba and end up in Spain, two friends hopped on a DC-8 plane. Jorge Perez Blanco and Armando Socarras decided to fulfill their plan on June 3, 1969. 

They even brought ropes to secure themselves and wore rubber shoes to make it easier to climb the wheel well. However, no matter how well-planned this escape was, Armando almost got crushed by the wheels. After reaching -41 degrees Fahrenheit, his consciousness was fleeting. 

After having landed in Madrid, Armando's clothes had become frozen and his body temperature was so unbelievably low that the thermometer couldn't read it but he was still breathing.

No one really knows what happened to Jorge. He either was knocked out of the wheel well before take off and imprisoned in Cuba or fell to his death. 

8 Unbelievable Plane Stowaway Survival Stories
via Cubanology

7. A Romanian man hid in the landing gear of a private jet owned by the Royal Family of Dubai.

In 2010, hidden in the undercarriage of a Boeing 757 was a Romanian man on an 800-mile trip from Vienna to London. 

Luckily for this man, the plane usually would have flown at an altitude of 37,000 feet, but because of a thunderstorm, it flew at a much lower altitude.

After landing, he was arrested, though after proving he was an EU national he was allowed to stay in Britain to find work.

8 Unbelievable Plane Stowaway Survival Stories
photo source via Daily Mail | via The Guardian

8. A man from Tahiti stowed away on a plane to Paris in an attempt to meet a famous soccer player

Fidel Maruhi survived a 4000 mile, seven-and-a-half-hour flight from Papeete to Los Angeles in a wheel well.

When he landed, his temperature was 79 degrees, which is a shocking six degrees colder than the fatal temperature for a person. 

He did all of this to meet his favorite soccer player: Zinedine Zidane. Though unfortunately for him, was sent back to Tahiti and remembers nothing of his journey since he lost consciousness shortly after the plane took off.

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