Airline says teenager survived flight over Pacific in jet wheel well

A teenaged boy has survived a flight from California to Hawaii in the wheel well of a jetliner, an airline said on Sunday, April 20, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: HAWAIIAN AIRLINES
A teenaged boy has survived a flight from California to Hawaii in the wheel well of a jetliner, an airline said on Sunday, April 20, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: HAWAIIAN AIRLINES

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - A teenaged boy has survived a flight from California to Hawaii in the wheel well of a jetliner, an airline said on Sunday.

The 16-year-old, who was not identified, was spotted by airline personnel after Hawaiian Airlines flight 45 landed in Maui on Sunday morning on a flight from San Jose, California, the airline said. The workers then notified security.

FBI officials confirmed that the boy had traveled from San Jose to Maui in the plane's wheel well, the airline said. The flying time from San Jose to Hawaii is more than five hours.

Hawaiian Airlines had no information about how the boy had managed to survive at an altitude of tens of thousands of feet that jets on that route over the Pacific typically fly at.

"Our primary concern now is for the well-being of the boy, who is exceptionally lucky to have survived," Hawaiian Airlines said in a statement, adding it and its contractors in San Jose were "ready to assist various government agencies in their investigation of this incident".