A Teenager Somehow Survived a Five-Hour Flight in a Jet's Wheel Well

By Jamie Condliffe on at

A 16-year-old boy managed to stow away in the wheel well of a flight headed from California to Hawaii on Sunday—and then survived the five hour trip despite freezing temperatures, low pressures and little oxygen.

Hawaiian Airlines Flight 45 set off from Santa Clara, California on Sunday morning, before flying 5.5 hours to Maui in Hawaii. Analysis of security footage shows that the boy hopped a fence to hide away in the plane. When the flight landed, he jumped down from the wheel well and wandered around the airport's grounds, reports the AP.

FBI officials have described that during the flight, which reached altitudes of 38,000 feet, the boy was subjected to "frigid temperatures" and "a lack of oxygen". Speaking to Associated Press, FBI spokesman Tom Simon explained:

"Kid's lucky to be alive. He was unconscious for the lion's share of the flight. Doesn't even remember the flight... It's amazing he survived that."

Following interviews by the FBI, it appears the teenager ran away from his family following an argument. He's undergone medical inspection and found to be unharmed. The FBI has explained that he won't be charged, but has been referred to child protective services. [Associated Press]

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