After getting into a fight with his parents on Sunday, a teen ran away from home. Plenty of stories start out this way, but they rarely end the way this one does: with the runaway hopping the fence at San Jose Airport and stowing away in an airplane wheel well on a five and a half hour flight to Hawaii. And he survived. How metal is that? It’s pretty metal. But it was also a pretty stupid thing to do.
(photo via USA Today)
The wheel well, is not pressurized, and the air gets very very thing as the plane gains altitude. Temperatures also drop well below freezing. We’re talking about 80 below. People of course are skeptical that this could have happened, but sure enough the kid’s story checks out. An emergency physician said that due to the warm tires creating initial heat, and the gradual drop in oxygen and temperature causing the boy to go unconscious as well as the gradual rise in temperature and oxygen levels mean that it is possible to survive the trip. However, survival is definitely not likely. So living the teen dirtbag dream and trying to stowaway in the wheel well of a plane is probably something you should take off your bucket list.
You would think this would be the first time something like this has happened right? Because it is such a royally awful idea. But no, it is definitely not the first time it has happened. According to the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) since 1996 there have been 105 stowaways (in non-pressurized parts of the plane) on 95 flights. Over 76% of them resulted in death.
We have a lot of questions, obviously. And we are sure the airline, and his parents, and the airports do as well. Actually he probably has a lot of questions as well, since he was unconscious pretty much the entire time. Our biggest question though?
What did he do in Hawaii when he got there?