13-year-old boy hitches ride in the wheel well of Arik Air flight
A13-year-old Nigerian who is said to be crazy about American movies stowed away and hitched a free ride from the Benin Airport to the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos. Identified as Daniel Oikhena, he stowed in the wheel well of an Arik Air flight.
According to spokesperson of the airline, Banji Ola, who blamed the ugly development on the lapses at the airport, “The pilot of Arik Air flight W3 544, departing Benin Airport for Lagos at 9:00 a.m. on August 24, 2013, reported to the control tower the presence of a strange boy in the bush about 200-300 metres at the end of Runway 23. The control tower told the captain that they were sending security men 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 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.”
Unknown to the passengers, the cabin and cockpit crew as well as airport security, the boy had made himself “comfortable” in the wheel well of the craft before it finally took to the sky. FAAN’s spokesman, Yakubu Dati has said Arik Air was responsible for the breach by not conducting a check on the aircraft after the attention of the crew and ground staff was drawn to an abnormality on the tarmac. He added that the crew should have aborted the flight and return to the apron for check up. The regulatory body, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), has commenced full investigation into the matter.