Pilot finds sleeping stowaway

2011-01-18 22:37

Johannesburg - Lanseria Airport is investigating an incident during which a teenager gained access to the airport property and fell asleep in a private aircraft.

The owner of the C172 plane, which costs about R2m new, wrote on a forum for aviation enthusiasts about finding the boy asleep in his plane on Saturday morning.

The owner, only known as "Whiskeyflyer", says he became suspicious when all the doors were locked from the inside.

He climbed into the cargo hold and discovered the boy where he lay curled up in the front of the aircraft. The boy wasn't visible from outside.

The pilot called for security guards and the police.

The teenager had a bag full of clean clothes, toiletries and a screw driver with him and told the police he had slept there from 20:00 the previous night.

Police spokesperson Vish Naidoo said on Tuesday night no complaints were made against the boy.

"He was very confused and at first said he comes from Diepsloot, then later from Krugersdorp.

"The police took him to a place of safety and are trying to find his parents or family."

Johan Opperman, spokesperson for the airport, said the incident is being investigated.

Spokespeople for airlines such as ExecuJet and Kulula who have aircraft at Lanseria said they're not worried by the fact that someone gained illegal access to a plane, and that this had been "an isolated incident".

  • saxor - 2011-01-18 23:06

    where is malema on this matter why doesnt he comes out to protect the boy

      sepcebekhulu - 2011-01-18 23:28

      your obsession with Malema makes you an idiot.can't you just come up with a reasonable opinion? go jump on the nearest highway bridge mate. you embarrassing yourself

      Siphozoozoo - 2011-01-19 06:47

      @sepcebekhulu, saxor is not a fraction of the idiot that juliarse mamparra is. In any case, what do you find wrong with the question?

      gmck21 - 2011-01-19 07:46

      @SEPCEBEKHULU "Go jump ON the nearest highway bridge" dont you mean off the nearest bridge? hows about a FAIL!!!

      robertgunning - 2011-01-19 08:04

      What are you on about? Protect the boy from what?

      boomboomdoom - 2011-01-19 10:10

      @robertgunning. Are you thick??????? Please take off the blinkers & open your mind up.

      SiphovdMerwe - 2011-01-19 14:56

      I am also wondering. Protect the boy from what?

  • Macho Mike - 2011-01-18 23:17

    This boy, was his name Julius?

      Mushwana - 2011-01-19 08:57

      No, his name is Mike

      boomboomdoom - 2011-01-19 10:13

      @Mushwana - He comes from Diepsloot & his name is Mike, yeah, right china, good guess. Perhaps his parents ran out of ethnical names & give him colonial name.

      SiphovdMerwe - 2011-01-19 14:57

      @boomboomdoom, all your comments are boomboomDom

  • Frungy - 2011-01-19 02:59

    Dear Janice Keogh, C172 is a Cessna 172 Skyhawk, and the term "cargo hold" is extremely misleading, in fact it's just down-right incorrect. There is no cargo hold in C172. There are 4 seats ... and that's it. Let me repeat THERE IS NO CARGO HOLD. Check your facts.

      jsmallwood - 2011-01-19 05:41

      No cargo hold, but there is a baggage area. The pilot had to get into his plane via the baggage door, 15.25" x 22", since the kid locked the front doors from the inside. The kid was in the front of the plane. You're right though. The way it's worded makes it seem like a much larger aircraft rather than a citi golf with wings.

      steviet888 - 2011-01-19 07:16

      Cargo hold or baggage hold, just behind the four seats. Not always clear on model aeroplanes.

      Frungy - 2011-01-19 14:07

      Thanks jsmallwood and steviet888, Your dimensions helped, I couldn't find them online. That's a 38cm x 55cm space. It's about large enough to fit a carry-on bag. Your description of it as a "baggage area" is quite accurate, if you've only got one passenger who packs light. In fact I'm wondering how a grown man got access through the baggage area since that's a pretty tight squeeze for an adult. Still, the article is very misleading and creates the impression that the plane is much larger and that this was a much more serious incident. This incident is just about as serious as someone breaking into your car to sleep the night. It's not like the boy did any harm (or none that's reported), and was probably just looking for somewhere safe to sleep.

  • Allin - 2011-01-19 06:30

    Great reporting News24! The fact that someone was found sleeping in an aircraft makes him as much a stowaway as it makes me a chef because I put a slice of bread in the toaster.

      position08 - 2011-01-19 07:04

      what's for breakfast?

      D - 2011-01-19 07:38

      Toast it seems

      Christo - 2011-01-19 07:41


      daybreak - 2011-01-19 08:55

      Add butter and jam and Allin will be upgraded to Master-chef

  • Ixian - 2011-01-19 07:02

    A stowaway is somebody who intends travelling to a different destination by hiding on a vessel of any sort. This kid was just catching a few z's.

  • muistrap - 2011-01-19 07:54

    and what has the price of the air craft got to do with it?????

      SiphovdMerwe - 2011-01-19 15:05

      Maybe that's in case you wanna buy it, or maybe they wanna emphasize that the boy doesn't sleep cheap. There is one going for US $27 thousand on eBay.

  • Han Solo - 2011-01-19 08:16

    This is unusual, security at lanseria is very tight, I'm training there for my license and they even check under your car with mirrors.

      leonao - 2011-01-19 08:47

      this dude cleary did not come by car!!!

  • Calmone - 2011-01-19 09:00

    Once agian misleading K@K reporting!!Stowaway my ass.Idiots

  • Totman - 2011-01-19 09:12

    Clearly this kid was running away from home or living conditions and saw this as a save place to sleep. Please look deeper into this and help him.

  • abandonedbluehondanw2 - 2011-01-19 09:22

    When I was in the army I flew in a C130 and that was huge aeroplane. A C172 must be absolutely ginormous.

      SiphovdMerwe - 2011-01-19 15:08

      Ever heard of a search engine, you know Google, and stuff

      Born2Fly - 2011-01-20 13:17

      Which one is bigger ... a Boeing 747 or a Boeing 767?

  • jvandm - 2011-01-19 11:01

    In other news, a chicken crossed the road in Klerksdorp this morning. It is not clear what the chicken wanted to do on the other side of the road, but police are investigating. Spokesperson for the Klerksdorp Police Department, Kentakki Naandow, said that it is not common for chickens to cross the road this time of year, and they suspect that might have wanted to get to the other side, but only time will tell.

  • Darwinian - 2011-01-19 11:35

    we must look into this cargo-hold thing. what causes it, and who must be held responsible...

      colin.rehbock - 2012-08-23 13:55

      Yea. Methinks a commission of enquiry is in order here.

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