A 26-year-old Guatemalan man survived a 2.5-hour flight stowed away in the main gear well of an American Airlines Boeing 737-800 and appeared none the worse for wear. The man was hauled out of the compartment by ground crews after the aircraft reached the gate in Miami after a flight from Guatemala City to Miami on Saturday. The airline said the aircraft “was met by law enforcement due to a security issue” after ramp workers hauled the man out of the belly of the plane. A video showed him sitting on the ramp appearing dazed but without any apparent injuries.
Authorities confirmed the basic details but offered little more. “U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at Miami International Airport apprehended a 26-year-old man who attempted to evade detection in the landing gear compartment of an aircraft arriving from Guatemala Saturday morning,” the CBP said in a statement. “The individual was evaluated by emergency medical services and taken to a hospital for medical assessment. This incident remains under investigation.” Assuming he survives, he will be among only about 30 who have done so. On the relatively short flight from Central America, the plane spent about two hours at 35,000 feet. The temperature in the exposed gear well dropped by more than 100 degrees and the man would have suffered hypoxia.