Body Found Outside Boston May Have Fallen From Plane

Reuters says police are investigating the possibility that the body of a 16-year-old North Carolina high school student fell from a plane approaching Logan Airport. So far, they have been unable to explain why the boy, who ran away from home, would have been found dead in Milton, MA.

We have been asked to provide some information about flight tracks and flight approaches that go over that community,” said Phil Orlandella, a spokesman for Logan International Airport. Some planes approaching the airport fly over Milton, Orlandella said.

The current, incredibly tragic theory is that the boy may have hidden in the wheel-well of an aircraft, (not realizing that aircraft cabins are pressurized and heated, whereas wheel-wells are not) and eventually succumbed to the lack of oxygen and extreme cold after take-off.

Massachusetts police probe whether body fell from plane [Reuters]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    “Maybe he’s got a message on him like in CON AIR!”

    It’s tasteless, I know, but how often do you get to use that line in real life?

  2. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Wouldn’t it be obvious a body has fallen from a plane? I would imagine the 200 broken bones and liquified organs would give it away.

    • Tim says:

      And they’d probably find that he died due to the cold or lack of air pressure. But these are all things that will come from the medical examiner’s report, and hopefully clear things up.

      Also … airport surveillance?

    • ubermex says:

      It was just outside the airport, so he would have fallen on approach from much lower altitude.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        I didn’t see that in the article, but thinking it through now obviously landing gear will only be open at the lower alttitudes.

      • RandomHookup says:

        Milton is a pretty long way from “just outside” Boston’s Logan Airport. A quick eyeball says it’s about 7 or 8 miles.

        • Anathema777 says:

          You’re still flying much lower at that point. So while the body would be mangled (which it was), it wouldn’t quite be mush

          • MyopicRaiderfan says:

            So whats the difference between 1000 feet and 20,000 when hitting the ground. Nothing, an object is not going to fall any faster. Its called terminal velocity.

            • Don_Thate says:

              Wrong – terminal velocity isn’t reached until approximately 1,900 feet (if my conversion from metric is correct). Or thereabouts.

        • Snaptastic says:

          Most air carriers that land at our local airport have their gear down by 5 miles–but many will put them down when they are turning their base legs or the final leg. Realistically, the kid being dropped 7-8 miles out is perfectly reasonable.

          • RandomHookup says:

            I don’t dispute that…Milton just isn’t next door to the airport as was implied above.

            • jason in boston says:

              I live under a flight path for one of the runways (milton is 1 mile away) – every plane has it’s gear down when they fly overhead.

    • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

      Milton MA is about 10 miles out on direct line with Logan’s main runway – about the distance that airliners extend their landing gear. By my calcs the fall was under 3000 ft.

  3. Billy says:

    So, as a consumer, riding in the wheel well would be a bad choice to make.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Not with out an oxygen tank and mask, some form of thermal protecting clothing, and a portable altimeter. Also, a way to secure yourself to the landing gear or interior of the plane, such as a van tie-down.

      But, the cost of all those items is probably the same as a plane ticket across the country, assuming a good deal on a flight. If you do this repeatedly, you’ll break even after only one flight!

      • asten77 says:

        But.. no molesting pat-down :)

        • Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

          Ahh, you beat me to it. But I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t be able to opt out of the back-scanner if he chose to fly “uber-economy class.”

    • Froggmann says:

      I still wouldn’t put it past a carrier like Ryan Air to sell it as a “SUPER economy seat”.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        Allow me to use my electronic devices, and you got a deal!

  4. tws says:

    Why exactly is this on Consumerist?

    • sheriadoc says:

      To discourage those trying to save on airfare from flying in the wheel-well of an airplane?

    • Gulliver says:

      Because it is another thing the consumerist readers can now blame on the airlines. Their flight was delayed even though it was perfect weather because they had to investigate the kids death, and now my flight is cancelled and I will be delayed for my vacation. Jeez, what kind of consumerist are you to think people dying is a good enough reason to have a delay.

    • Red Cat Linux says:

      Probably as a warning that one should not attempt to book the highly discounted wheel well aisle.

  5. sheriadoc says:

    The body was described as being “multilated.” So it’s possible I suppose. Another article said that approaching planes that pass over Milton do so at about 1,500 feet. I’m from Boston, so I’ve been following this story. It’s very disturbing either way. A teen from another state is randomly found dead in the suburbs.

    • sheriadoc says:

      Oh my, I just read an article about airplane stowaways and discovered this:

      “A third danger is the likelihood of tumbling from the wheel well prior to arrival. Landing gear is typically deployed at an altitude of around 1,500 feet, and the stowaways are given little warning. Unless they’re holding onto something inside the compartment, a fatal plunge is difficult to avoid.”

      • Hoot says:

        Ah, I was questioning why he hadn’t fallen out sooner, closer to home. It didn’t dawn on me that the wheels are pulled up into the body shortly after takeoff. Makes sense. Sad!

  6. Buckus says:

    Pretty soon they will pressurize and heat wheel wells and offer “Super Discount” fares…

  7. phira says:

    I’m a Bostonian, and I’ve been following this story since they found the boy’s body a few days ago. It’s really sad. The plane theory does seem to fit, though. It seems he had gone missing from North Carolina a matter of hours before his body was discovered, and his body was very badly damaged. They didn’t ID him for a couple days. So while the plane theory is a bit weird and surprising, it could explain it.

    Poor kid :( and his family and friends.

  8. OnePumpChump says:
  9. Rubedo says:

    How did he get past secuirty to get on the plane?

    Obviously, there is other flaws in airports that need to be addressed if someone can climb into a plane without being scanned, poked, prodded and humilated.

    Maybe they need to move there focus on (if that is indeed what happened) how this could even occur?

    • squablow says:

      That’s a good point. You can’t get a 5 oz shampoo on the plane or even board the plane without getting a forced handy-jammer but a kid can just climb up in one without anyone noticing? He could have just as easily brought a bomb with him, I guess.

  10. Macgyver says:

    The body was found outside of Boston. What makes them think that he fell from a plane?
    Another story said that he was in the Airforce JROTC, so he would’ve known what would happened to him if he was in there.
    And where was airport security? It had to be something else.

  11. evilpete says:


    How the F*ck will the TSA explain how a 16-year-old North Carolina high school student was able to get my them and board the aircraft.

    • golddog says:

      I’m gonna go with either:

      “Oh, we felt his cock prior to his climbing in the plane. Past the security gate is not our problem. He didn’t have an underwear bomb on did he??”


      “Had all the unpatriotic Americans not been distracting us with their YouTube videos, colostomy bags and days of protest, we could have prevented this horrible tragedy.”

    • Hoot says:

      Isnt there just standard fencing around most airports? Maybe he cut the fence. Although I would think (hope) that they’d have sensors or something.

  12. Straspey says:


    So *THAT’S* going to be the TSA’s next option if you choose to refuse the full body scan and pat-down.


  13. Angiol says:

    Or maybe he used a Scroll of Icarian Flight and didn’t use one before he landed.

  14. Not Given says:

    For your entertainment:

    This is such a morbid article, maybe the kid just wanted to fly without being molested.

  15. lawgirl502 says:

    the REAL question is…did he get felt up by TSA first?

  16. Tedsallis says:

    Somebody saw the movie “Commando”.

  17. Press1forDialTone says:

    I’m tending to believe he was in the wheelwell and if he wasn’t
    dead after the wheels retracted, he would be dead mid-flight, and surely
    dead after the wheels came down for landing.

    What I don’t get is how he got in the wheelwell after the full body scan
    -and- a patdown.

    Great tarmac security job TSA!

  18. Mark says:

    The air inside an airplane cabin warms significantly as it is compressed to pressurize the cabin, so generally the cabin is cooled, not “heated”, for customer comfort.

  19. Urgleglurk says:

    Next time, he’ll pay the upgrade fee for an ‘in-the-cabin’ seat?

  20. The Porkchop Express says:

    So, did he have to go through a pat down or anything like that? Did he just waltz into an airport and make to a plane undetected?

    Glad we all have to go through the security features and that nothing bad could possibly happen.

  21. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    Do y’suppose this incident will prove to the TSA that their scare tactics don’t work?

    Pfffftahaha… who am I kidding? It’ll take a wheel-well bomber before the TSA decides to move the scanning equipment out into the parking lot. Once the TERRORIST! is on airport property, he’s already won.

  22. backbroken says:

    As god as my witness, I thought 16 year old boys could fly.

    God speed Gordon Jump.

  23. MongoAngryMongoSmash says:

    Maybe he fell onto the backyard of Carla Tortelli’s place.

  24. mpotter says:

    I actually live less than half a mile from where the body was found. While it sounds insane to me I can see how it would be plausible. The planes that fly overhead on their way to Logan are extremely low when going over my house. The first time I saw it I thought something was wrong and that the plane was too low to be landing at Logan, but now it’s just something you expect.

  25. njack says:

    Maybe I am naive, but exactly how does one sneak on to the tarmac and climb into a wheel well when I have to be sexually abused to board a plane legitimately?

  26. peebozi says:

    Thank god the airplanes are secure! The freedom-haters won’t even have to shove a bomb up their ass now that they know they can simply hide in a wheel well and carry on as much TNT as they can handle.

  27. Tremmurph says:

    I also live in the Boston area and have been following this story. The most amazing thing I have read is there have been reports of 63 flights that people have hidden in wheel wells. Who would of thought this was so common?

  28. Tremmurph says:

    I also live in the Boston area and have been following this story. The most amazing thing I have read is there have been reports of 63 flights that people have hidden in wheel wells. Who would of thought this was so common?