The plane, belonging to Cameroon airline CamAir-Co, touched down Monday morning at Charles de Gaulle airport just outside Paris after a long flight from the Cameroonian capital, Yaoundé.
"While checking over the plane, we noticed the presence of a man, quite young, of African origin, unidentified, who had died in the landing gear," a source close to the case said.
No identity papers have been found. The journey from Yaoundé to Paris lasts just under seven hours and the plane reaches an altitude of 10,000 metres. Temperatures can drop as low as -50°C.
“There is no trace of injuries. The cause of death is almost certainly the cold,” said the source.
Another source said an autopsy would be done on Tuesday, adding that the victim looked like he was "15 to 17 years old."
This is not the first time that stowaways have died in a bid to get to France, but such an incident had not happened at the Paris airport in at least three years.