Teen who stowed away on Hawaii-bound flight escapes punishment



A teenager who stowed away in the landing gear of a plane bound for Hawaii won’t face federal charges.

The 16-year-old from Santa Clara, California, spent an uncomfortable FIVE hour journey in the wheel well of the Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 767.

Officials, however, have decided to let the youngster off with a warning.

“This was not something he planned out,” said Special Agent Tom Simon, an FBI spokesman in Honolulu. “My impression is that he ran for the first flight he saw.”

In skipping charges, agents may have decided the boy has suffered enough.

The wheel well of the jet is not pressurised or heated, meaning the teen possibly endured extremely thin air and temperatures as low as 80 degrees below zero when the plane cruised at 38,000 feet.

At that altitude, the outside air temperature is about 85 degrees below zero. He lost consciousness during the flight, officials said.

The plane landed at the Maui airport at 10:30 a.m. local time on Sunday, but Simon said the teen did not regain consciousness until an hour later. Once he woke up, he hopped down to the tarmac.

Hawaiian Airlines personnel noticed the teen on a ramp and notified security. There was no indication that the boy posed a threat to the airline, and he has not been charged with a crime, officials said.

He cleared a medical checkup and was handed over to officials from the Hawaii Department of Human Services.

Officials did not release his name because he is a minor.



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