back to article Boy beats Reaper at 20,000 feet

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. …


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  1. Nick

    Coming Soon...

    ... to a RyanAir Jet near you - new 'low cost' in the wing seating. Warning, frostbite is a chargeable extra.

  2. Geoff

    Lucky he wasn't crushed, too.

    The landing gear hydraulics would surely have had enough pressure to mash the poor kid when they folded up after takeoff. It's amazing he managed to avoid that as well.

  3. RichardHertz

    "Riding a Jet 101" is confusing

    I don't see why its better to stowaway in the engine than in the wheel well. According to information I obtained from Wikipedia, the engines are as hot as the wheel wells are cold.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    landing gear lowering...

    "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.

  5. Kenny Swan

    Lucky boy

    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.

  6. Alan Donaly

    I can understand

    wanting to get away having had a bit of that sort of arguing in my own childhood. I hope he doesn't lose too much meat he's lucky to have survived at all of course.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Medical fund

    Where do I send my $5 donation for the medical fund?

  8. andy rock

    nearly as jammy as this...,20867,21236358-1702,00.html

  9. Tom

    Body disposal made easy...

    Of course, this was a story line for an episode of (USA)Law & Order (CI variety) about 1.5 years ago. Interesting that the falling corpse landed on the beach under the flight path of the JFK (Idlewild for those of us old enough to remember) airport.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    free ticket

    So I'm Thinking of taking a little flight....How about duct taping myself (with lots of insulated clothing) between the engine and the wheel? Can I make it?

  11. Chris Barrett


    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 (

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surely someone would have noticed...

    .. that the dude in the first shot looks just like Gordon Brown.

  13. Hugh Cowan

    Beats going through security

    Beats going through security!

  14. Colin Jackson

    Yeah but

    It still sounds marginally less tiresome than the chav-fest that was my flight back from Mallorca last week. I'd have happily gone and sat on the wing to get away from the scum. I'm never flying from Manchester again. There's something not right about that city. Something...genetic.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    WTF is a do-over? Sounds colloquial to me - the internet's only 100% trustworthy source (Wikipedia) reckons it is a tv show.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Colin Jackson

    Yeah, next time take your discount flight to a scuzzy destination from Tunbridge Wells International Airport.

  17. PHUQUE


    Mulligan at a pre-adolescent level.

  18. Dave

    @Kenny Swan

    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.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nightmare at 43543lg

    What kind of plane is Bill Shatner supposed to be in in that photo? He's got a nice big window.

  20. Dave

    LOL @ JonB

    "discount flight to a scuzzy destination from Tunbridge Wells International Airport"

    TWIA could be Lydd, though...

  21. Ewan

    Re: Body disposal made easy...


    For older TV watchers, it was also mentioned in the first episode of Quincy!


  22. Peter Mellor

    Surviving a trip in the main gear bay

    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.

  23. Peter Mellor

    Thrust reversers

    Chris Barrett on Thursday 4th October 2007 sent a link to a picture of a thrust reverser in operation:

    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.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Colin Jackson

    The real pain about Manc Airport is that it takes soo long to get off the luggage - in my travels they are every bit as bad as the Belgians (state ownership...).

    At least he could use Leeds And Bradford International Airport (I kid you not..).

  25. Dalen
    Thumb Up

    Honorable mention in the Darwin Awards?

    You know, sometimes articles like this make me wonder whether I should be proud or ashamed of my countrymen.

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