Teenage boy stows away on a plane to Hawaii

A 15 year old boy stowed away on a flight from California  to Hawaii surviving in the planes wheel well, the boy said he was trying to get to Somalia to see his mother, law enforcement told CNN on April 22.

The teen has not been identified yet, but the boy did spend more than six hours on the ground before the Maui-bound jet took off, another government official says. The boy jumped an airport fence in San Jose, California, shortly after 1 a.m. on Sunday, hours before Hawaiian Airlines Flight 45 took off at 7:55 a.m.

The teen was sent straight to the hospital after he was found in the wheel well of the plane unconscious.

Authorities said the boy came out of the wheel well of the plane about an hour after it landed at the Kahului Airport on the island of Maui. The boy is in the custody of child welfare services workers, said Kayla Rosenfeld, a spokeswoman for the state’s Department of Human Services.

The teen told the authorities he was from Santa Clara, California, and ran away from home Sunday night. The boy crawled into the wheel well of the plane and then lost consciousness when the plane started to take off. He survived the nearly five-hour flight in subzero temperatures at oxygen-depleted heights — as high as 38,000 feet authorities said.

When asked about the teenage boy on the plane, junior Kyle Strong said, “first of all, how was the boy able to sneak on to the plane without anybody noticing?”

Since 1947, 105 people are known to have attempted to fly inside wheel wells on 94 flight  worldwide, the Federal Aviation Administration’s Civil Aerospace Medical Institute says.

Of those, 25 made it through, including a 9-year-old — a survival rate of 24%. One of the flight went as high as 39,000 feet. Two others were at 38,000 feet.

The conditions at high altitudes can put stowaways in a virtual “hibernative” state, the FAA said.

Police have not said if they will press federal charges against the teenage boy for stowing away on the aircraft.