... to a RyanAir Jet near you - new 'low cost' in the wing seating. Warning, frostbite is a chargeable extra.
Perhaps you heard this story bouncing around the internet a couple days ago: a kid in Russia survived a two-hour flight from Perm to Moscow by hanging on to the wing of a Boeing 737. If your bullshit meter didn't go off, we're here to correct that. Take our hand. nightmare at 20,000 feet Surely someone would have noticed. …
"and the landing gear lowering at 1,500 feet often does the trick"
Yup. I used to live in Kew in West London, directly under the flight path to Heathrow just about at the point where the landing gear is lowered. The car park of the local DIY superstore and also Kew Gardens itself both experienced falling corpses in the few years I lived there. I think the local police were getting quite used to it.
All the above mentioned possible causes of death are only the beginning. Someone also correctly mentioned crushing, but landing gear can still be spinning when retracted which is going to cause serious injury, and if you're worried about the low temperatures, the scolding temperature of the tyre rubber after takeoff will give you adequate heat to start with.
He's a lucky, lucky boy. Since he's committed numerous offences by doing this, he's also lucky he's getting away with it.
With space in a wheel bay being at an absolute premium I don't understand how this kiddie managed to avoid the two-wheeled undercarriage as it retracted after take-off. I've worked on these things in the past and can only think he had a really uncomfortable, noisy, cold, smelly ride for the whole 2 hours.
He wouldn't have been any warmer sitting in an engine intake, bearing in mind that even though the engine itself is extremely hot, the air speed into the intake would give a nice wind-chill factor. At least if he got sucked into the engine on landing his body parts would be saved thanks to the thrust reverser (http://www.cruisinaltitude.com/images/b737/atb732lrtrakl.jpg).
Normal procedure is to apply the brakes briefly before retracting the gear, because you don't really want it spinning anyway, so it'll only be going slowly if at all as it comes into the wheel well. Certainly on the Dornier 228/328 where you easily watch a wheel if you're in the correct seat, there's a noticeable bang as it comes to a stop before being retracted.
The anonymous poster from Kew was right about the bodies dropped into the car park of his local B&Q. There was a case a few years ago of two brothers who stowed away on a flight from the Indian subcontinent. One was dumped in the car park; the other survived and was found wandering around the tarmac in a damaged and confused state. If I recall correctly (and I can't be bothered to look up the details right now) the consensus of medical opinion was that the low temperature can, in some circumstances, cause bodily processes to shut down so that the lack of oxygen does not kill, as in some cold water drownings.
The appalling fact that did come to light was that smuggling gangs have been charging to get would-be emigrants into airports and telling them that, if they climb up the main gear, they will find a connecting door into the cargo hold.
Chris Barrett on Thursday 4th October 2007 sent a link to a picture of a thrust reverser in operation: http://www.cruisinaltitude.com/images/b737/atb732lrtrakl.jpg
This type of "movable shell" reverser is on the B737 and other models of a certain age. (The first time I sat behind the wing on a B737, and saw the reverser operate on landing, I thought the engine was disintegrating, and learned the meaning of "emergency evacuation" all on my own.)
Other types of engine (e.g., on the A320) have a more discreet mechanism, involving the opening of a side panel in the engine.
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