The stowaway was a 16 year-old boy who decided to run away from home. He was discovered in Hawaii after exiting the plane’s wheel well and being noticed by the airport’s ground crew. The boy is currently being held by child protective services, reports CNN.
If the stowaway’s story is true, it is amazing that he survived. The flight would have put him at 38,000 feet and he would have experienced a lack of oxygen and subzero temperatures for around five hours. Helping confirm the boy’s story is security footage of him hopping the fence to the airport in California and leaving the plane in Hawaii, CNN notes.
The Federal Aviation Administration believes that heat coming off of the landing gear may have helped the stowaway survive. The heat generated by the plane’s hydraulic lines and from the tires could have kept him warm enough to survive. After this, the steady climbed may have allowed his body to develop hypothermia, which preserves the central nervous system, The Los Angeles Times notes.