Feeds

Boy beats Reaper at 20,000 feet

How not to board a Boeing 737

High performance access to file storage

Perhaps you heard this story bouncing around the internet a couple days ago: a kid in Russia survived a two-hour flight from Perm to Moscow by hanging on to the wing of a Boeing 737.

If your bullshit meter didn't go off, we're here to correct that. Take our hand.

nightmare at 20,000 feet

Surely someone would have noticed.

The boy, of course, didn't catch a ride on the wing as several stories about the incident suggested. That's impossible unless you happen to be a T-1000 Terminator. Lacking in liquid metal mimetic polyalloy and you're pretty much boned.

The error came from a mistranslation of the Russian newspaper Tvoi Den, which first carried the story. What 15-year-old Andrei Scherbakov did do was ride in the wing of a plane.

Or to be accurate, the wheel well of a plane.

Hey, sometimes a story is too fantastic to fact-check. But surviving was still impressive. Darwin is demanding a do-over.

According to reports, after running away from home last week, the boy hitchhiked to the airport at Perm and snuck into the wheel well of a 737 passenger plane. Shcherbakov managed to survive temperatures of minus 50 degrees Celsius (-58 Fahrenheit for the colonies) on a two-hour flight from Perm to Moscow cruising at about 900 km/h (560 mph).

The boy reportedly went on the lam to his grandmother's village after a family argument. When he arrived at the village, he decided to go on.

When the plane landed, the boy collapsed on the tarmac. His arms and legs were reportedly so frozen that rescuers couldn't remove his coat and shoes. He was taken to the hospital in a half-conscious state. When he arrived, the boy complained his hands were burning.

Riding a jet 101

Riding a Jet 101

According to Russia Today, Shcherbakov was taken back to Perm when his family could not afford the expensive treatment.

“Right now his condition is satisfactory. He doesn't have a fever and says he feels fine. He's also pretty active. He'll be in hospital for two or thee weeks, because the extent of the frostbite is still being determined, but we're all optimistic,” said Dr Natalya Pavlenko at the children's hospital in Perm where he is being treated.

Perm airport is still trying to find out how he sneaked on without anyone noticing. A spokesman for the airport said the weight and balance engineers checked the compartments for technical failures, but did not check inside them. He added that this will now be obligatory.

Few wheel well stowaways survive their flight. If they don't perish from the frigid temperatures, there's the asphyxiation as oxygen is depleted at high altitudes in the unpressurized compartment. Survive that, and the landing gear lowering at 1,500 feet often does the trick. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
New FEMTO-MOON sighted BIRTHING from Saturn's RING
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.