The drug haul was found in the nose gear of the plane, authorities said. (File image) Picture: Flickr/Bill Abbott

AN AIRLINE maintenance worker has stumbled upon $570,000 worth of cocaine that was stashed in the nose of an American Airlines passenger jet.

A spokesman for Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office said the discovery was made after the plane arrived in Miami from Bogota, Colombia, on Sunday, the Associated Press reported.

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It had been flagged for maintenance after arrival and sent to Tulsa International Airport, where American Airlines has a maintenance base.

While an airline employee was working on the plane’s nose gear, he noticed what looked like a clump of insulation, or a bricklike object.

He called the sheriff’s office to report the suspicious find.

The haul was worth about $570,000, authorities said. Picture: Tulsa County Sheriff's Office via AP

The haul was worth about $570,000, authorities said. Picture: Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office via APSource:AP

After investigating the discovery, authorities confirmed it was seven bricks of cocaine, totalling about 14 kilograms. They said the haul was worth about $572,000.

The sheriff’s office spokesman, Justin Green, said the case has been turned over to the US Drug Enforcement Administration in Miami.

The discovery follows an unrelated case in which a former flight attendant and beauty queen was accused of smuggling 27kg of cocaine through Los Angeles International Airport and then making a dramatic dash to escape.

Marsha Gay Reynolds, 32, who worked for US airline JetBlue, pleaded guilty last month to wheeling a suitcase stacked with drugs into LAX airport on March 18 last year.

Authorities said she flung off her high heels and bolted after being flagged for a random security screening, running down an upward-moving escalator and out of the terminal.

A US court heard Reynolds took a JetBlue flight the next day to New York, where she surrendered to authorities days later.

Reynolds, a former Jamaican beauty queen and New York University track athlete, faces 10 years in jail.