Teen who hid in plane’s wheel well defies science

By Michelle Kapusta,

Experts are saying that the teenager, who survived a flight from California to Hawaii stowed away in the plane’s wheel well, has defied science.

According to FOX News, authorities said that the 16-year-old survived frigid below zero temperatures at 38,000 feet and a lack of oxygen on the 5 1/2 hour flight over the Pacific Ocean.

Aviation analyst Peter Forman told KHON that “The odds of a person surviving that long of a flight at that altitude are very remote, actually. I mean, you are talking about altitudes that are well above the altitude of Mt. Everest. And temperatures that can reach 40 degrees below zero. A lot of people would only have useful consciousness for a minute or two at that altitude. For somebody to survive multiple hours with that lack of oxygen and that cold is just miraculous. I’ve never heard of anything like that before.”

The boy was dazed and confused when he was spotted on the tarmac at Kahului airport in Maui, but was cleared by doctors.

Others stowing away in wheel wells have died, including a 16-year-old aboard a flight from Charlotte, N.C., to Boston in 2010 and a man who fell out of a plane onto a London street during a flight from Angola in 2012.

On Sunday, surveillance footage captured the teen in California jumping the fence at San Jose’s Mineta International Airport before climbing into the Boeing 767’s wheel well.

He told officials he had run away from his home and was turned over to child protective services. He will not be charged with any crime, but has left many people scratching their heads and wondering how he was able to survive the flight.



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