A stowaway survived almost two hours in sub-zero conditions after clambering aboard the front landing gear of a passenger jet about to fly from the Dominican Republic to Miami.
The Dominican national, who has not been named, was spotted climbing down the landing gear by police after the American Airways Airbus A321 landed in Miami on Saturday.
An investigation has been launched as to how the man was able to evade airport security at Las Americas International Airport and make his way airside to the parking stand.
The stowaway managed to survive for almost two hours at sub zero temperatures and low oxygen levels while the American Airline Airbus A321, pictured on an earlier flight, flew from the Dominican Republic to Miami after climbing up the aircraft's front landing gear, circled
The man managed to evade security at the Las Americas International Airport, pictured
The man avoided getting crushed by the aircraft's landing gear when it retracted moments after lifting off from the Dominican Republic.
Within 15 minutes, the aircraft was passing 22,000 feet and reached its cruising altitude of 34,000 feet within half an hour of departing. The aircraft spent an hour at its cruising altitude, where temperatures inside the wheel well would plummet while the level of oxygen would also fall to dangerously low levels.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Mike Silva said Monday the man was a Dominican national.
Silva said Miami-Dade Police spotted him exiting the wheel well after American Airlines flight 1026 from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, landed Saturday at Miami International Airport.
Police detained the man, whose name wasn't released. Silva said he was medically cleared, processed as a stowaway by federal authorities and returned to the Dominican Republic.
The man was spotted after arriving at Miami Airport by police as he climbed down the aircraft's landing gear and was arrested. He was assessed by medics before being returned home
The man spent more than an hour at 34,000 feet in sub zero temperatures with little oxygen
Silva said local and federal authorities searched the plane and cleared it to resume normal operations.
Airline spokesman Ross Feinstein said the airline was reviewing the incident with Las Americas International Airport officials.
According to research by the Federal Aviation Administration, people stowing away in the landing gear face temperatures of -65F.
One paper claimed: 'Despite the lack of pressurization, or personal O2 equipment, the presence of warm hydraulic lines in the wheel-well and the initially warm tires provided significant heat.
'The stable climb of the aircraft enabled hypoxia to lead to gradual unconsciousness. As the wheel-well environment slowly cooled, hypothermia accompanies the deep hypoxia, preserving nervous system viability.
'With descent, and warming, along with increasing atmospheric oxygen pressure, hypoxia and hypothermia slowly resolved.
'At the ramp, with individuals were found in a semi-conscious state, and, upon treatment, recovered.'
Hypoxia or oxygen deficiency normally sets in from about 10,000 feet and would quickly render a person unconscious.
An October 1996 report by the US Federal Aviation Administration, 'Survival at High Altitudes: Wheel-Well Passengers', documents five survivors between 1947 and 1993.
Three of them were teenagers, one aged 13 and two aged 17.
In April 2014, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation said a 16-year-old boy survived a five-and-a-half hour flight from California to Hawaii at altitudes of up to 38,000 feet.
In October 2007, a 27-year-old man was charged with entering Singapore without a valid pass or permit, after stowing away on a 35-minute flight from Kuala Lumpur.
American Airlines said it is reviewing the situation with the airport in Santo Domingo.Advertisement Share or comment on this article: