Being a plane stowaway always is a bad idea

jet overhead

Does this really look like a good idea?

Credit: David Precious via Flickr

Seriously, people, if you really need to get somewhere and you can't afford the plane fare, launch a Kickstarter campaign. Because the stowaway thing usually ends pretty tragically.

From CNN:

A stowaway on a British Airways jet was found dead after falling on a roof as the plane approached London Heathrow Airport, authorities said Friday.

It's unclear whether the man had crouched in the wheel well, a common hiding place among stowaways.

A second man who was hiding in the undercarriage of the plane was hospitalized with injuries, the airline said.

The plane was near the end of a 12-hour flight from Johannesburg when the man plunged to his death. That's a long flight for someone in first class, never mind a guy in a wheel well who might, according to the BBC, have to cope with "being crushed when landing gear retracts, hypothermia, frostbite, hearing loss, tinnitus, hypoxia (where the whole or part of the body is deprived of an adequate oxygen supply) and acidosis (the build-up of acid in body fluids which can cause coma or death)."

Then there's falling.

Some people fret about planes crashing, even though the odds of being killed in a plane crash are 1 in 4.7 million. Stowaways, sadly, face a grimmer set of probabilities. According to the BBC:

Figures show that 96 people hid under planes during flights around the world between 1947 and 2012 -- 23 of them survived. The incidents happened on 85 flights.

Future potential stowaways, listen up: Based on data collected over nearly 70 years, you have a 76% chance of dying on a flight. The poor guy who fell to his death in London should have run the numbers. It's not too late for the rest of you.


This story, "Being a plane stowaway always is a bad idea" was originally published by Fritterati.