When a California teenager decided to fly from San Jose to Hawaii yesterday after an argument with his family, he wasn’t expecting any in-flight service. Because, you need to get inside the cabin to avail them in the first place!
The 16-year-old had decided to take refuge inside the landing gear (wheel well) of the Hawaiian Airlines plane, which soon made a 5.5 hour trip to Maui Airport, Hawaii.
After the plane landed, the boy simply hopped on to the tarmac from the landing gear and started wandering aimlessly – probably wondering where he had ended up. The only “luggage” he carried with him was a comb. The teen was questioned by the FBI and is safe in their custody.
According to the L.A. Times, the unidentified teen survived the incredible trip inside the landing gear of the aircraft, which barely has any space left for anyone to squeeze in after the wheels retract post take off. FBI spokesman Tom Simon said that they questioned the teen after airport officials discovered him on the tarmac without any identification. When questioned, the teen told them his incredible story.
“Kid’s lucky to be alive,” Simon said.
To verify the boy’s claim, officials checked the security footage from the San Jose airport and confirmed that he had jumped a fence to enter the airport and simply hopped onto Hawaiian Airlines Flight 45’s landing gear.
FBI officials also added the teen was unconscious for most part of the flight – which lasted 5.5 hours. A Hawaiian Airlines spokesman told ABC News that the teen is exceptionally lucky to have survived a trip inside the landing gear and that their primary concern now is of his well-being. Meanwhile, medical checks on the boy has confirmed that he is unharmed. The teenager has reportedly told the officials that he doesn’t remember the flight. The FBI has meanwhile confirmed that the boy will not be charged. He has been referred to child protective services, after which measures would be taken to reunite him with his family.
The chances of anyone surviving a trip inside a wheel well of the landing gear are slim. There are too many things trying to kill you at the same time when you choose this risky method of flying – and most people who try out this method usually have died in the past. First, chances are high that the pressure of the retracting landing gear will kill you in the first place. If you survive this initial challenge somehow, the second phase begins as the plane reaches its cruising altitude of over 30,000 to 38,000 feet. At this height, the temperature outside the cabin reaches several degrees below freezing. Also, oxygen levels at this altitude are simply too slim and if the cold doesn’t kill you, lack of air certainly would.
While this teen has certainly beaten the odds to survive his long trip inside a landing gear, we would like to once again remind people considering this method of travel that it is simply too risky to be tried.
[Image via NASA]