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Stowaway Teen Survives Flight in Airplane Wheel Well to Hawaii

Officials are shocked the stowaway survived cold temperatures and thin air.

Mineta San José International Airport. Wikimedia.
Mineta San José International Airport. Wikimedia.
Posted originally by Susan C. Schena 

A 16-year-old boy from Santa Clara, California is lucky to be alive after he stowed himself away in the wheel well of a Hawaiian Airlines flight from San Jose, Calif. to Maui, Hawaii Sunday morning, a Federal Bureau of Investigations special agent in Honolulu said. 

The boy ran away from home and hopped a fence at San Jose Mineta International Airport. He then climbed into the wheel well of Hawaiian Airlines Flight 45 to Maui, FBI Special Agent Tom Simon said.

The teen lost consciousness for the flight due to lack of oxygen and remained unconscious for an hour after the plane landed at 10:30 a.m. in Maui, Simon said. 

An hour after landing the boy stepped out of the wheel well and onto the tarmac, according to Simon. Once on the tarmac, airport and security personnel approached the boy. 

He was escorted off the tarmac and interviewed by police and FBI officials, Simon said. 

The stow-away told law enforcement officials that he had run away from home in Santa Clara. Simon said his story was investigated and checked out. 

There was no indication that it was a hoax and the boy was deemed not to be a security threat. 

Simon was shocked that the boy survived the flight, passed a medical examine and was determined to be in good health. 

"It's a miracle," Simon said regarding the boy's survival. 

The teen was released to Child Protective Services and no charges have been filed against him.

-- Bay City News

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Dorie McKay April 22, 2014 at 10:57 AM
This teenager must have been going through something at home to risk his young life, to want to get away so bad. Child protective services needs to get involved and an investigation into the dynamics that led him to go to such lengths to get away. He committed no crime. Terrorists want to kill people, and get on board, this boy was hardly that! Since when does a kid getting into a wheel well outside of a plane outside of the passengers endanger them? He endangered himself. This is no laughing matter. WHAT was he running FROM? Abusive parents? Taking such a scary high risk? Don't condemn him. He needs to be helped and CPS needs to get seriously involved. And he needs psychiatric evaluation to determine what and why this happened.
B. Dub April 22, 2014 at 12:13 PM
Dorie, stowing away on a plane is a crime. And no, the boy himself did not pose a threat. But the fact that he (anyone) can get that close to a plane poses a threat. I have to take off my flippin' shoes and get patted down, but apparently you can just walk up and plant a bomb in the wheel well.
april ann April 22, 2014 at 01:30 PM
I agree with B. Dub 100%! How was this kid able to scale a fence and just walk right over to the plane? TSA: for all the harassing you do in the terminal...you ain't all that!! As far as the kid being a runaway..maybe he does face some serious abuse issues at home. He's damn lucky to be alive. But, I raised three boys, and a 16 year old boy can runaway for any collage of reasons. My kids never ran away but, I'm wondering if the fact that the plane was going to HAWAII has anything to do with it. It sounds a little compulsive to me. CPA need good follow up on this. Thank you lucky stars kid!
Lee Jacobsen April 22, 2014 at 06:42 PM
It wasn't a miracle that he survived, it was Easter Sunday, and good things always happen. "always look on the bright side of life"......Life of Brian........overlooked miracle worker....... Not a problem to let other kids of similar intelligence do the same thing, it will improve the human gene pool immensely, and the human race will benefit overall as a result.
mimi April 23, 2014 at 02:09 PM
There are two separate issues here. The first and certainly the most obvious is security failure. The second is to determine what is in the best interest of the teen, as well as the public.. He needs a psych eval, at the very least. Then again, so does most of the public.


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