NEW INFORMATION: Boy survives flight in plane's wheel well; Jet stowaways survive with hibernation-like state

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

HONOLULU (AP) -- To survive the 5 1/2-hour flight, the body of a 16-year-old boy who stowed away from Northern California to Hawaii entered a hibernation-like state.

In the jet's wheel well where he apparently hid, the air became so thin that passing out was inevitable.

At the cruising altitude of 38,000 feet, the outside temperature would have been about 85 degrees below zero.

In response to those conditions heart rate and brain activity slow. But they can continue, and return to normal as the plane descends to conditions more hospitable for human survival.

Despite the hazards, people survive stowaway attempts with surprising frequency.

According to data kept by the Federal Aviation Administration, about 1 in 4 of the 105 known airplane stowaways have survived.
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HONOLULU (AP) -- FBI officials say a 16-year-old boy stowed away in the wheel well of a flight from California to Hawaii, surviving the trip halfway across the Pacific Ocean unharmed despite frigid temperatures at 38,000 feet and a lack of oxygen.

FBI spokesman Tom Simon in Honolulu told The Associated Press on Sunday night that the boy was questioned by the FBI after being discovered on the tarmac at the Maui airport with no identification.

Simon says security footage from the San Jose airport verified that the boy from Santa Clara, Calif., hopped a fence to get to Hawaiian Airlines Flight 45 on Sunday morning. Simon says the child had run away from his family.

Simon says the boy was released to child protective services and not charged with a crime.


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