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.

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