Indonesian survives dangerous trip clinging to jet landing gear

An Indonesian man hitched a high-stakes ride to the country’s capital by clinging to the landing gear of a commercial plane, officials said on Wednesday (April 8).

Mr Mario Steven Ambarita, 21, sneaked onto the tarmac at an airport in Sumatra on Tuesday before clambering aboard the Boeing jet’s landing gear, air transport ministry director general Suprasetyo said.

The stowaway then sat there for the hour-long flight to the international airport just outside Jakarta, where he was discovered upon landing.

Mr Suprasetyo said: “He really put his safety in danger as the plane flew as high as 34,000 feet, where the oxygen is very thin and temperatures are below zero degrees Celsius.”

Mr Ambarita admitted to authorities he’d been planning the daring adventure for a year, staking out the airport in advance. 

Local reports suggested the man was desperate to visit his birthplace Jakarta.

Condition fine

Mr Suprasetyo said the unexpected passenger still managed to walk when the plane landed, but was staggering and had a bleeding ear.

“But his condition is now fine,” Mr Suprasetyo said.

The man is still being questioned, and could face a one-year jail term if charged with putting the Garuda flight in danger.

The transport ministry has sanctioned local airport authorities for negligence and promised to improve security across the archipelago to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Sumatra airport authorities are planning to install CCTV cameras on the runway to prevent such incidents, Jakarta Globe reported.

Source: AFP, Jakarta Globe