An Indonesian man’s attempt to fly home free of charge was foiled yesterday morning, when airplane technicians found him hiding in the landing gear of a plane parked in Penang International Airport.
Officials say that he was found when the cargo plane was undergoing maintenance at 10am yesterday, and was spotted by a worker who immediately called security. He has since been handed over to police for charges related to trespassing.
Following the suspect’s arrest, Penang police report that the 39-year-old man had been working at a local poultry processing factory, and could not afford the cost of the ticket home to Medan, Indonesia where he is from.
The cheapest direct flight to Medan from Penang, leaving later tonight that we could find online will set you back RM84 (US$21).
The standard air temperature of a plane traveling at 35,000ft (10,700m) is around -54C. At this altitude, oxygen levels drop to about 26% of those at sea level, making it not only freezing cold, but also less oxygen saturated than at the peak of Mount Everest.
What are the odds of survival for a stowaway who climbs into the small space above a wheel? Well, assuming they’re not crushed to death when the landing gear comes up or they don’t fall out as it lowers ahead of landing, chances of surviving that flight are pretty small.