Man Found In Landing Gear Of American Airlines Flight To Miami

On Saturday, November 27th, a stowaway was found in the landing gear compartment of an American Airlines Boeing 737-800 that had landed at Miami International Airport. Reports indicate that the person was found alive and apprehended by US Customs and Border Protection.

American Airlines Boeing 737-823 N812NN
The discovery was made at Miami International Airport. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

26-year-old apprehended by authorities

A stowaway was reportedly discovered within the landing gear compartment of a Boeing 737-800 after completing a flight from Guatemala City to Miami. The flight, operated by American Airlines, had arrived at 10:06 local time.

According to Business Insider, the stowaway was taken to the hospital for examination, with US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) noting that the 26-year-old had “attempted to evade detection in the landing gear compartment of an aircraft arriving from Guatemala.” The individual was first examined by emergency medical workers before going to the hospital. Although their current condition was not made public, the stowaway was apprehended by CBP.

Interestingly, American Airlines itself would not provide details of the incident, and instead called it a “security issue.” The airline is referring media inquiries to Miami Dade Police or US Customs and Border Protection.

For its part, the airline issued the following as a comment:

American Airlines Boeing 737-823
The aircraft involved was a Boeing 737-800. Photo: American Airlines

Flight details

Referring to data available on, flight AA1182 had departed Guatemala City at 06:26 local time. The duration of the flight was two hours and 21 minutes, touching down in Miami at 10:03 local time. This duration excludes taxiing time at either end of the flight.

The flight from Guatemala City to Miami takes around two and a half hours, gate to gate. Photo:

According to flight schedules, it appears that American Airlines’ flight AA1182 is a once-daily service that has most often utilized the Boeing 737-800. On occasion, however, the airline has deployed the 737 MAX 8 on the 883 nautical mile journey.

A perilous endeavor

Simple Flying has reported on numerous incidents of a similar nature. Unsurprisingly, attempting to stowaway in the landing gear of an aircraft is an extremely dangerous move, often undertaken by individuals desperate to leave their country who may not be able to migrate using legal methods.

“Persons are taking extreme risks when they try to conceal themselves in confined spaces such as an aircraft,” CBP told Business Insider.

Indeed, such attempts can have mixed results. Earlier this year, in February, a 16-year-old Kenyan boy survived a flight by stowing away in the landing gear compartment of a Turkish Airlines Cargo flight. The aircraft had flown from London Stansted to Masstrict (Netherlands) at an altitude of just 19,000 feet.

Other attempts don’t end as well, as evidenced by a dead stowaway found onboard a flight from Lagos to Amsterdam in April. The year prior, a ten-year-old child was found lifeless in the undercarriage well of an Air France aircraft that had originated in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

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