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Thread: Alleged Airplane Stowaway Falls Out of Gear Pod on Final Approach at Heathrow

  1. #1
    Elite Member Flygirl's Avatar
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    Default Alleged Airplane Stowaway Falls Out of Gear Pod on Final Approach at Heathrow

    UK police appeal for help identifying man who fell from sky

    Metropolitan Police via AP
    This e-fit provided by the London Metropolitan Police shows a computer-based face of a man authorities police are trying to identify after his body was found in west London.


    By The Associated Press
    LONDON Police in Britain have appealed for help establishing the identity of a man whose body apparently fell from a plane in the sky and crashed onto a west London sidewalk.
    A London police spokesman, who was not authorized to speak on the record because of force policy, told The Associated Press on Sunday that police have released an "e-fit" image of the man's face and a photo of a tattoo on his left arm. The unusual tattoo showed the letters "Z" and "G."

    The mystery began in September when residents of a suburban street in Mortlake woke up on a quiet Sunday morning to find the crumpled body of a black man on the sidewalk of Portman Avenue, near a convenience store, an upscale lingerie shop and a storefront offering Chinese medical cures.





    Looking for clues to identity
    Detectives believed at first the man was a murder victim and cordoned off the area. Within a day, however, police concluded the man probably already dead had fallen to the ground when a jet passing overhead lowered its landing gear as it neared the runway at nearby Heathrow Airport.
    <br>



    The apparent stowaway had no identification papers just some currency from Angola, leading police to surmise that he was from that African country, especially as inquiries showed that a plane from Angola was beginning its descent into Heathrow at about that time.
    More coverage about Britain on NBCNews.com
    The macabre explanation made perfect sense to residents, who are able to see planes lower their landing gears as they pass overhead, said Catherine Lambert, who lives a few doors down from the spot where the man landed.
    "You could see him, his body was contorted," she said. "It was a beautiful blue day, really sunny, but we had to keep the children inside. I didn't want the children to see, and to have to explain to them and put fear into them every time a plane goes over."
    Complete Europe coverage on NBCNews.com
    A post mortem conducted two days after the body landed listed the cause of death as "multiple injuries."
    Lingering sadness
    Lambert, 41, said there is lingering sadness, since the man has not been identified and there has been no way to tell his family he is gone.
    "I felt, what was he running away from? What made him think he could he could? And how will his family ever know? He's a lost soul now; his father and mother are probably waiting for him to make contact," she said.
    Police also said attempts to identify the man with the help of Angolan authorities had been unsuccessful. They stressed there is only "circumstantial" evidence linking the stowaway to that country.
    Complete World coverage on NBCNews.com
    In a statement, police said the man is believed to be an African of slight build between the ages of 20 and 30. He was wearing jeans, white sneakers and a gray sweatshirt when he was found on Sept. 9, police said.
    Although firm figures are not available, in recent years there has been a rise in the number of stowaways trying to get to Western Europe by hiding in the undercarriages of passenger planes.
    Police said the body is being held for possible repatriation in case the man's identity is established
    UK police appeal for help identifying man who fell from sky - World News




    With more and more cases like this, it's time to spread the word....you cannot survive an airplane flight at altitude outside of the airplane!!

  2. #2
    Elite Member Bluebonnet's Avatar
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    How awful!

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    It's Raining Men.
    msdeb, Laurent, Sylkyn and 10 others like this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brookie View Post
    It's Raining Men.
    Now we know what was playing on his iPod!!

    (that and "Fallin'" by Alicia Keys)
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    Oh man, I didn't even have a chance to feel bad about the poor guy before you guys brought up It's Raining Men! I don't think I'm supposed to be laughing about this. lol

    The apparent stowaway had no identification papers just some currency from Angola, leading police to surmise that he was from that African country, especially as inquiries showed that a plane from Angola was beginning its descent into Heathrow at about that time.
    That is some hardcore detective work.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brookie View Post
    It's Raining Men.
    Tati, Sylkyn, Laurent and 9 others like this.

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    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    I've already secured my seat in the front row in Hell, I do, however, REFUSE to watch fucking "Glitter" (or as I nearly typed it, "LITTER").
    Waterslide likes this.
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    Elite Member sprynkles's Avatar
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    Oh the poor guy. This qualifies him for a Darwin award for sure.

    "A massive penis means never having to say you're sorry". Mo

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    A*O
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    He was probably already frozen to death when he fell. They'll never find out who he is so his Darwin Award will have to remain anonymous.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waterslide View Post
    Oh man, I didn't even have a chance to feel bad about the poor guy before you guys brought up It's Raining Men! I don't think I'm supposed to be laughing about this. lol


    I had the same reaction. Felt very sad for the guy and then read this right afterwards and giggled to myself.

    I'm terrified to fly inside a plane. I cannot imagine flying OUTSIDE in the wheel well tens of thousands of feet in the air. Such a stupid and desperate thing to do. Has anyone ever lived while doing this?
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    A*O
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    Rarely. They usually freeze to death, get crushed in the mechanism or fall out. It would be safer to walk.
    I've never liked lesbianism - it leaves a bad taste in my mouth
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    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quazar View Post
    . Has anyone ever lived while doing this?
    Occasionally but usually with shorter flights. There are still tremendous risks. You'd have to be absolutely desperate to try something this dangerous.
    As Canadian as possible under the circumstances

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    Elite Member Beeyotch's Avatar
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    The FAA says 2 that they know of. (I think they were mainly talking about Cubans trying to get into Florida though, and probably isn't up to date: "page last modified 2009.")

    Survival at High Altitude: Wheel-Well Passengers
    Survival at High Altitude: Wheel-Well Passengers

    S.R. Mohler and S.J.H.Veronneau

    Wright State University, Dayton, OH 45435
    and
    FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute, Oklahoma City, OK 73125

    Introduction
    Individuals desiring to flee Cuba since 1959 have attempted various modes of escape, including becoming a stow-away on aircraft by climbing into the left side of the right wing wheel-well of a DC-8 aircraft poised for take-off. One individual successfully made a flight in this manner from Havana to Madrid, Spain. Several others died during these attempts. Recently, a successful flight was made in a DC-8 wheel-well from Bogota, Colombia to Miami, Florida.

    Process and Results
    Two reported cases of high altitude flight by stow-aways are detailed (Havana, Cuba to Madrid) and from Bogota to Miami. The cruise altitudes of these flights were in the 35,000 foot region with stratospheric temperatures at the (-) 65F range. Despite the lack of pressurization, or personal O2 equipment, the presence of warm hydraulic lines in the wheel-well and the initially warm tires provided significant heat. The stable climb of the aircraft enabled hypoxia to lead to gradual unconsciousness. As the wheel-well environment slowly cooled, hypothermia accompanies the deep hypoxia, preserving nervous system viability. With descent, and warming, along with increasing atmospheric oxygen pressure, hypoxia and hypothermia slowly resolved. At the ramp, with individuals were found in a semi-conscious state, and, upon treatment, recovered. Approximately a dozen copycat attempts have been made in 1993 with fatalities.

    Conclusion
    Wheel-well stow-aways continue to be a problem and require prevention. Duh, FAA!

  14. #14
    mjw
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    This reminds me of an old case from Unsolved Mysteries.


    A UMNS News FeatureBy Cathy Farmer*

    John Doe was somebody's son.

    The young man - handsome and athletic -- tried to talk a ticket agent at Barkley Regional Airport near Paducah, Ky., into swapping a leather bomber jacket for a plane ticket out West. Told by the agent "that's not the way it works," he scaled the fence around the airfield, chased and caught the undercarriage of a plane as it taxied down the runway and hung on until it reached an altitude of 300 feet. Then he fell to his death. The date was Sept. 30, 1991.

    "John Doe" had no identification. McCracken County coroner Jerry Beyer,called to the scene, was determined to find his family.

    "I autopsied the young man, fingerprinted him and took pictures," said Beyer, a member of Paducah's Concord United Methodist Church. "Then I embalmed him so we could keep his body as long as possible. I wanted to find his family. I have children of my own, and I know I'd want to know what happened to them."

    Beyer entered John Doe's fingerprints on the National Crime Information Computer, hoping to get a match. He urged the local newspaper, The Paducah Sun, to run stories. But there were no nibbles.

    After a year, Beyer and his pastor, the Rev. Joe Geary, arranged a memorial service for the man the whole community now called "our" John Doe.

    "It was a struggle to know what to say," admitted Geary, pastor of Concord Church at the time. "The challenge was to do a meaningful Christian service when you knew nothing about the person. I eventually chose a passage from Leviticus where God calls upon the children of Israel to welcome the stranger, the alien at their gate." The verse was appropriate. Paducah did welcome this stranger, adopting him as one of their own.

    "We didn't bury him in a pauper's grave," Beyer said. "A grave site was donated at Oak Grove Cemetery." Everything for the burial was donated including a large monument engraved with his story and the name John Doe.

    Claudia Speed, one of the local florists, sent a casket spray of red roses.On the card she wrote, "From your mother. I know she cares." Speed's own son had died the year before. The hundreds who attended the memorial service to say good-bye did not forget him as the years went by. Every year, on the anniversary of his death, flowers would appear on the grave under the big tree.

    Beyer didn't give up. "We don't accept defeatism around here," he declared."I don't like to be a loser." For almost eight years, he kept searching. He even managed to get the case on the "Unsolved Mysteries" TV show in 1992."We had over 300 calls from people looking for a loved one," he said, "but none of them were our John Doe.

    " When the show was rebroadcast in 1997, it was seen by Dee Duecker, the wife of a United Methodist pastor in Edenton, Ohio, just outside Cincinnati. Duecker and her husband Gerald were searching for their missing 28-year-old son, Brian Stanley Duecker. Brian disappeared on Sept. 26, 1991.

    "I called, but they told me it wasn't Brian," Dee Duecker said. "The description didn't match completely. But somehow, I just knew it was him. It stayed in the back of my mind.

    "Beyer continued to work the case and prodded Paducah Sun reporter Bill Bartleman to write another story on John Doe. Bartleman added the stories to his personal Internet Web site. That's where Dee Duecker found them a few weeks ago.

    "I did a search for information about the Paducah airport death," she said."That's when I found Bill's story." She sent him an e-mail requesting information.

    "She had a picture of her stepson on her own Web site," said Bartleman. "It ook it to Jerry Beyer. We felt sure it was our John Doe."

    A search was made for Brian's fingerprints. The match with was perfect.Paducah's John Doe had a name and a family.

    "We spent so many years trying to find Brian," said Gerald Duecker. "We were relieved. It was difficult to lose him but it was so comforting to know that he was adopted by the community, that he had a Christian burial.

    "Brian was schizophrenic," he explained. "He saw nothing as impossible. I'm sure he thought he could jump on that plane and ride it out west."The Duecker family visited Brian's grave in Paducah in June and promised to come back Sept. 18, bringing another headstone with Brian's real name on it.They expressed gratitude for the whole town taking their son into their hearts.


    They also visited Concord Church with Beyer. The current pastor, the Rev.Barry Scott, said the Dueckers asked him to thank the congregation. "They said they were overwhelmed with how kind everyone had been."


    # # #*Farmer is communications director of the United Methodist Church's MemphisAnnual Conference. This story first appeared in the conference edition ofthe United Methodist Reporter.wfn.org | Paducah, Ky.'s 'John Doe' was somebody's beloved son

  15. #15
    Elite Member Flygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beeyotch View Post
    The FAA says 2 that they know of. (I think they were mainly talking about Cubans trying to get into Florida though, and probably isn't up to date: "page last modified 2009.")

    Survival at High Altitude: Wheel-Well Passengers
    Those people are definitely exceptions to the rule. They must have some monster pulmonary systems.

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