16-Year-Old Stowaway Flies From California to Hawaii in Jet’s Wheel Well

By
Photo: TED ALJIBE/2008 AFP

Hopefully the 16-year-old who climbed to the top of the World Trade Center last month enjoyed his 15 minutes of fame, because a teen on the other side of the country just pulled off an even more incredible stunt. On Sunday, a 16-year-old boy hid in the wheel well of a plane heading from California to Hawaii, according to FBI and airline officials. Despite the freezing temperatures and lack of oxygen at 38,000 feet, the stowaway was unharmed during the five and a half hour flight. "Kid’s lucky to be alive," said FBI spokesman Tom Simon. 

Simon said the boy ran away from his home in Santa Clara, California after an argument with his with his parents. Security footage from San Jose airport shows him hopping a fence and climbing aboard Hawaiian Airlines Flight 45. He was unconscious throughout most of the trip. "Doesn’t even remember the flight," Simon said. "It’s amazing he survived that."

When the plane landed in Maui, airline personnel noticed him wandering the airport grounds and called security. After being questioned by the FBI the boy was released to child protective services. He has yet to be charged with a crime, and hopefully this one will be filed under "We're not even mad, that's amazing."