San Jose Airports Completes Efforts to Cut Down on Stowaways

In 2014, Yahya Abdi hopped the fence at San Jose Airport and climbed into the wheel well of an airplane headed to Hawaii.

san jose airport

He somehow survived the entire flight.

From CNN:

Yahya planned for some time to sneak onto the tarmac of San Jose International Airport, and he finally hopped the airport fence on April 20 shortly after 1 a.m.

After eluding detection for six hours, he finally chose a plane to crawl into — randomly.

“I took that plane because it was the closest one I could find that was going to go west,” Yahya told the news outlet in an online interview using Google Chat.

Here’s a video of him climbing out of the wheel well:

That wasn’t the only incident San Jose had with fence hoppers or stowaways.

Serial stowaway, Marilyn Hartman, even struck San Jose Airport.

It reminds me of Helen Hayes’ character in Airport.

But San Jose has had enough and built a fence to keep out the stowaways.

From the Mercury News:

Two years after a teenager hopped the airport’s perimeter fence and sneaked into the wheel well of a Hawaii-bound jet, Mineta San Jose International has finished installing higher fencing topped with barbed wire and could soon install more security cameras.

The San Jose perimeter project, completed last week, raised 8,600 feet of fencing at the airport’s north and south ends from 6 feet to 10 feet and even 11 feet in key areas. It also topped the fence with a foot of razor wire, making it harder to penetrate.

Either way, stowing away isn’t a good idea.  Most people don’t survive hiding in the wheel well.

About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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