Aircraft Stowaways

This projects charts the routes of all known aircraft stowaways since 1946. It depicts each journey, mapping out the voyage of individuals who have fled their country.

Explore Aircraft Stowaways
Aircraft Stowaways

This project charts the routes of all known aircraft stowaways: individuals who fled their countries by hiding in the landing gear compartment of an aircraft.

These are epic and desperate journeys. Cramped, frozen and deprived of oxygen, few stowaways make it to their destinations alive. For those that do, the future is uncertain.

The first recorded wheel bay stowaway was 12 year old orphan Bas Wie, who travelled from Kupang, Indonesia to Darwin, Australia in the wheel bay of a Douglas DC-3 in 1946.

He survived.

Launched in 2016. New stories are added to the map as they occur and are reported.

Visit Aircraft Stowaways