Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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SA Man who survived an 11 hour flight from SA to UK in landing gear gets asylum

Back in June of 2015 two men Themba Cabeka and Carlito Vale decided to flee South Africa in the landing gear of a Boeing 747-400. They jumped over the fence at OR Tambo and snuck themselves into the landing gear of flight BA 54 headed for London.

Tied to the plane with an electric cable wrapped around his arm and starved of oxygen and temperatures of -60C Cabeka soon passed out only briefly awaking when falling onto the runway at Heathrow. He then went into a coma for 6 months.

“I was here. The plane was there. I was asking myself, How did I get out of the plane?” I could see these guys, they were the guards, they carried me up and I passed out again. I woke up in hospital after being in a coma for six months.”

His friend, Carlito Vale sadly did not make it and tragically fell from the aircraft minutes before landing. His body was found on top of a building in Richmond.

Channel 4 producer Rich Bentley tracked Themba down to a one-bedroom flat in Liverpool. Themba Cabeka (now Justin) was granted asylum and now tells the tale of his terrifying journey in the Channel 4 documentary airing on Monday 4th January at 10 pm, The Man Who Fell From The Sky.

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