Stowaway survives 11-hour flight from South Africa to Amsterdam in the nose wheel of a cargo plane

(Tribune News Service) – A cargo plane arriving from South Africa at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport on Sunday had an unexpected package: a stowaway.

According to a tweet from the Dutch military police, or Marechausse, the man was found in the nose wheel of the cargo plane and “was fine under the circumstances and was taken to hospital”.

The average flight time between the two destinations is 11 hours and 16 minutes, but the flight also stopped in Nairobi, Kenya, according to Flightradar24.

Planes can fly at an altitude between 30,000 and 42,000 feet where the temperature drops well below freezing.

According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, on long flights, a stowaway in the wheel arch or overhead compartment can face severe hypothermia or death due to freezing temperatures.

Joanna Helmonds, spokeswoman for Marechausse, told Reuters they were neither the age nor the nationality of the man.

“Our first concern was of course his health,” she told the outlet. “It’s definitely very unusual that someone could survive the cold at such a height – very, very unusual.”

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The C-17 Globemaster III T-1 flies over Owens Valley, California for a test sortie. A cargo plane arriving from South Africa at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport on Sunday had an unexpected package: a stowaway. (US Air Force)

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