16-year-old stowaway survives flight in plane’s wheel well

Posted at 6:33 AM, Apr 21, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-21 13:53:30-04

HONOLULU (AP) —A 16-year-old boy hitched a ride in the wheel well of a flight from California to Hawaii, surviving the trip halfway across the Pacific Ocean unharmed despite frigid temperatures at 38,000 feet and a lack of oxygen, FBI officials said.

FBI spokesman Tom Simon in Honolulu told The Associated Press on Sunday night that the boy was questioned by the FBI after being discovered on the tarmac at the Maui airport with no identification.

Security footage from the San Jose airport verified that the boy from Santa Clara, Calif., hopped a fence to get to Hawaiian Airlines Flight 45 on Sunday morning, Simon said.


The child had run away from his family, Simon said. He was released to child protective services and not charged with a crime.

An airport spokesperson in Hawaii called it a “miracle” that the boy survived the roughly 5-hour flight.