Police have confirmed that a man found dead in a street in West London on Sunday morning was of African origin.
Residents of Portman Avenue, Mortlake woke to find the crumpled body of the man lying on the pavement after he apparently fell from a passenger plane as it approached Heathrow's south runway.
Police are investigating whether the man was a stowaway who hid in the undercarriage housing of a plane from Africa to London in an attempt to illegally smuggle himself into Britain.
A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said: "We can confirm the body found was that of an African male and enquiries are on-going to establish the circumstances surrounding his death."
Residents told police how they heard a loud bang at 7.55am on Sunday morning and found the man with a serious head wound lying in the road.
Unconfirmed reports suggested he had landed on one of the cars parked in the road.
Resident Billy Watson said the body appeared "all twisted up".
"It is unbelievable. The first thing I thought when I saw the body was that it must have fallen from quite a height."
Police forensic officers spent Sunday morning examining the area around where the body was found in a bid to establish the cause of the man's death.
Tony Dixon, editor of Airliner World magazine, told Sky News that the location in Mortlake, directly under the Heathrow flight path, gave weight to the theory the man had fallen from an aeroplane.
"Aircraft lower their under-carriage when they're around six miles from landing so the possibility this man may have been a stowaway is a fair assessment and it has happened before," he said.
"An aircraft's wheels are warm for about an hour or so after take-off so anyone trying to hide there would freeze to death eventually - if they hadn't already died from hypoxia."
There have been previous attempts by migrants from Africa to enter Britain illegally by hiding in the undercarriage housing of passenger aircraft.
In August, the body of a man was discovered in the landing-gear bay of a British Airways Boeing 747 after a 6,000-mile (9,656km) flight from Cape Town.
Police later confirmed the man was not a passenger or a member of the crew. Authorities in South Africa said a man had been spotted jumping over a fence at the transport hub before running towards a BA flight as it waited to take off.