CA Teen 'Lucky to Be Alive' After Stowing Away on Hawaiian Airlines Flight
Officials say a 16-year-old boy is “lucky to be alive” after stowing away on a flight from San Jose, California to Hawaii on Sunday morning. The teen hid for five and a half hours in the plane’s wheel well in temperatures that reached 50 degrees below zero.
Security footage shows the Santa Clara teen jumping the fence at San Jose International Airport and then crawling into Hawaiian Airlines Flight 45.
At that altitude and temperatures, officials say it’s a miracle the teen didn’t suffer from hypothermia or die of asphyxiation.
Maui District Airports Manager Marin Moniz said, “I would imagine flying at 35,000 feet that would be very cold … not pressurized or temperature controlled. It would be a miracle to, you know, survive.”
William La Jeunesse reported that out of 100 stowaway attempts in the last 50 years, almost 80 percent died. Those who survive are generally on shorter flights and at lower altitudes.
Officials say the 16-year-old was unconscious most of the flight.
When the flight landed in Maui, witnesses say the boy jumped down from the wheel well and began wandering around the tarmac where he was picked up by security.
The teen reportedly ran away from home after a family argument. The hospital says he’s been medically screened and is in good condition. He will not be charged with a crime.