It's a staple of Hollywood action movies but nothing something you'd expect to happen in real life. A 16-year-old boy is recovering today after flying from California to Hawaii - a total flight time of over five hours - "in the plane's wheel", according to reports today.
The unidentified teenager stowed away on a flight from San Jose, California to Maui on a Hawaiian Airlines flight and was only noticed by security personnel once the plane had landed. The airline has remained tight-lipped on this extraordinary security oversight on their part but expressed astonishment that the boy managed to survive such a long time at an altitude of up to 38,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean.
The boy was spotted by airport security on the runway after jumping out of the plane's left rear wheel on Sunday. Reports suggest that he passed out mid-flight and came to around an hour after the flight reached its destination. The temperature he experienced would have dropped well below zero during the flight. Studies conducted by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) have concluded that stowaways can survive these harsh conditions by their body entering a sort of hibernation state.
The airline released a statement on the matter, saying: "Our primary concern now is for the well-being of the boy, who is exceptionally lucky to have survived", adding that they would co-operate with "various government agencies" in their investigation.