A body in the KLM landing gear

KLM Airbus 330-200 Foto:KLM

A corpse was found in Amsterdam in the landing gear of a KLM Royal Dutch Airlines plane arriving from Nigeria.

KLM Airbus 330-200

The technical services of the national company discovered on April 18, 2021, the body of a man in the landing gear of an Airbus A330-200 (PH-AOD), which follows flight KL588 between Lagos airport -Murtala Muhammed and his base at Amsterdam-Schiphol. Authorities did not provide details on the identity of the stowaway on Monday, with the only statement mentioning « a man hidden in the landing gear, possibly killed by hypothermia during the flight. »

An investigation was launched to determine his identity and the circumstances which enabled him to reach the plane; The flight from Nigeria on Saturday lasted just over 6 hours, according to Flightradar24, with the affected aircraft returning to Lagos today.

Incidents of this kind usually end badly because of the altitude reached by long-haul flights, for example in the case of the Air France flight from Abidjan a year ago. On shorter flights, however, this is not always the case: for example, a young Kenyan survived a flight from London to Maastricht last February in the undercarriage of a Turkish Airlines cargo plane.

Since 1947 according to the FAA, there have been 105 known cases of stowaways traveling in landing gear « and other external locations ». The survival rate is about one in four, with the survivability decreasing as the flight time increases. But this survival rate could well be much lower, some stowaways may have fallen without anyone realizing it (this was not the case in Niamey in 2013 for Air France).

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