Boy, 15, flies into Lagos in plane tyre compartment

15

By UCHE USIM

Spasms of shock ran through the spines of airport officials when a boy jumped out of the undercarriage of an Arik Air plane as it landed at Lagos Airport. The boy was instantly arrested.

Recounting the chilling story to newsmen yesterday, spokesman of the airline, Banji Ola said the pilot of its Benin-Lagos service (flight W3 544), while departing Benin Airport for Lagos at 9.00am yesterday alerted the control tower of the presence of a strange boy in the bush about 200-300 meters at the end of runway 23.

“The control tower told the captain that they were sending securitymen to the place to arrest the boy. As the captain was making his final turn, preparatory for take-off, a cabin crew called his attention to the information by some of the passengers that they saw a boy running towards the airplane.

“The First Officer confirmed that they had observed it earlier and alerted the control tower, which responded that they had sent the patrol team to arrest the boy.

“The captain again reported to the control tower and was informed that the situation was under control and that he had been cleared for take-off,” Ola explained.

However, on arrival at the domestic wing of MMA, Lagos, a teenage boy, who apparently had sneaked into the aircraft main wheel well jumped out and was arrested by Arik personnel and handed over to the security men of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

Ola expressed the shock of Arik management, wondering how the teenager beat the aviation security personnel at the Benin Airport to get to the runway.

“We are worried by the incessant security lapses at our airports. We are appealing to the management of FAAN to immediately address the problem”, he said.

The problem of stowaways is becoming rampant in Nigeria, a development that aviation experts warn should be tackled before it grows worse. They however noted that the boy was able to survive because the flight was a short one as he would have frozen to death if it was to be a long-haul service.

A stowaway was found dead in an Arik Air A340-500 aircraft in October 2012 when the airplane returned from JFK airport in New York, USA.

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  3. This is typical case of Negligence to duty by FAAN especially the Control Tower staff.Despite the pilot’s repeated warnings, they failed to prevent this security lapse.If this boy was an agent of terrorists, d story would have been different.The lives of d innocent passengers would have been wasted for somebody’s share irresponsibility.All the FAAN staff found culpable on this carelessness should be sacked and their jobs be given to more serious Nigerians.

  4. Sunny Akhigbe on

    Aircraft stowaways risk being mangled when the plane undercarriiage retracts, falling off when the doors of thie compartment reopen or death in the landing gear compartment in high altitude due to pressure and oxygen lack. There is no mechnism to maintain pressure and oxygen in the wheel well unlike inside the aircraft? This lad was lucky that it was a short flight.this could no have been his first time. He should be thoroughly drilled. He could be an “Ajebota”, maybe a son to one of these lousy politicians whose children do stunt driving on the streets of Abuja. I say this because this is an expensive “hobby”. The common street urchin a.k.a area boy does not know where airports are located not to talk of travelling free of charge in an aircraft as stowaway.
    Talking seriously and in view of our current security challenges, we should take security of our airports seriously. A suicide bomber stowaway can blow up an aircraft on domestic flight. Although this has never happened in history as close to 70 percent of all illegal plane hike as stowaway end in fatality, we should not take chances. God bless Nigeria!

  5. What Osayamon and prof Oyenusi had joined together no Nigeria man should put asunder . At age of 15 years their boys have started building training rehearsal centre at Arik airline .

  6. witchcraft too much for Benin oh how a boy of 15yrs go get sense do this kind thing
    may be he thought the plane is going to Italy where supposedly his mother is.
    security problem is imminent but we can approach this from investing more on education and by reducing unemployment drastically

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