A 20-year-old Romanian man is lucky to be alive after he was discovered hidden inside the rear wheel compartment of a jet arriving this week in London. The stowaway, who was apparently looking for work, braved low oxygen and outside air temperatures during the flight as low as 40 below zero. Upon his discovery at London’s Heathrow Airport, he was covered in bruises and showing signs of hypothermia, but thankfully still alive.
How exactly did a man manage to sneak inside a plane? And how did he make it through the experience? It turns out through a remarkable mix of luck, daring and stupidity. The man apparently climbed under a fence at Vienna’s Schwechat airport, hiding himself beneath a private jet that had been parked there since last week. He also lucked out with the flight plan – the plane had to fly at a lower-than-normal altitude to avoid bad weather, allowing the man to survive what would normally be a fatal combination of cold and lack of air.
UK authorities were surprised by the man’s unexpected arrival, though they declined to press charges. As Romania is part of the European Union, the “passenger” was technically allowed to visit on holiday. He was cautioned and freed with no further action. Frankly, this traveler is lucky to have survived the ordeal, let alone gotten off without legal action.
Next time you’re ready to complain about that horrible experience on your last flight, you might want to think again. Somebody out there has definitely had it much worse.
(Image: Flickr/Lili Vieira de Carvalho’s)