Runaway Teen Survives 5-Hour Flight to Hawaii in Plane's Wheel Well

A 15-year-old boy somehow survived a five and a half hour flight halfway across the Pacific Ocean—from San Jose to Maui—while stowed away in a passenger jet's wheel well.

"Kid's lucky to be alive," FBI spokesman Tom Simon told the Associated Press.

According to Simon, the teen, whose name was not released, hopped the fence at the San Jose airport after running away from home. He then walked around the airport's tarmac until climbing into one of the plane's wheel wells.

The teenager spent much of the 2,400 mile flight in freezing temperatures—the flight's cruising altitude was 38,000 feet—and with limited oxygen.

"He was unconscious for the lion's share of the flight," Simon said. "Doesn't even remember the flight. It's amazing he survived that."

Authorities in Hawaii detained and questioned the teenager after finding him wandering the Maui airport tarmac without identification. After a medical examination—amazingly, he escaped injury—he was released to child protective services. He won't be charged with a crime.

[Image via AP]