Stowaway Survives Certain Death in Jet Wheelwell
A teen stowaway miraculously survived a five-hour flight inside an airplane’s wheel-well. This kid took pretty drastic measures to escape trouble at home.
And he has stumped experts with his survival. They are all shaking their heads because he should have died from lack of oxygen and freezing temperatures at the 38,000 foot altitude. An argument compelled him to take the risk. Do you think he had a death wish?
The 16-year-old ran away from his family after an argument, FBI spokesman Tom Simon said on Sunday night.
The boy, who hasn’t been named, is believed to have jumped a fence at the San Jose Airport and settled into the Hawaiian Airlines jetliner’s unpressurized wheel-well, unnoticed by airport security.
Authorities said the teen told them that he passed out after the Maui-bound plane took off, and somehow survived, despite freezing temperatures and a lack of oxygen — a feat that has experts puzzled.
Crew members found him wandering the tarmac in Maui without identification. He was taken into custody and examined by a doctor who found no injuries.
At this time, the teen isn’t facing federal charges, Simon said.
He’s been turned over to child protective services in Hawaii.
The teen’s case is extreme, but it’s not the first time a stowaway has survived a flight in the wheel well of an aircraft.
In August 2013, a teenage boy from Nigeria endured a 35-minute trip in the wheel well of a domestic flight that landed in Lagos. Officials credited the trip’s short flight time and relatively low altitude with helping him survive.
On another occasion, a stowaway managed to survive a flight from Havana to Madrid, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
You gotta wonder what he was thinking, putting his life at risk in such a horrifying situation. Hypoxia and hypothermia aside, just imagine if he had fallen from his hiding place into the ocean, never to be found. Bet his parents return his iPod to him now.