Stowaway reportedly eyed Africa

Teen stowaway survives Hawaii flight

A 16-year-old boy who ran away from home and stowed away on a flight from San Jose to Hawaii and survived did not know where the plane was going when he climbed aboard.

As relatives make themselves scarce after a 15-year-old Santa Clara boy survived a flight from San Jose to Maui in a jetliner's wheel well over the weekend, Hawaiian media have reported the boy may have been trying to get to his mother in Africa.

Hawaii News Now cited sources with Maui police in its report. It generally aligns with accounts the boy gave to the FBI, which said he ran away from his home in Santa Clara after discord with his father and step-family.

The FBI said the boy, who attends Santa Clara High School, did not plan to head to Hawaii, but got on the first plane he saw after scaling a perimeter fence at Mineta-San Jose International Airport in the predawn darkness between Saturday night and early Sunday morning.

But the agency declined to comment on where the teen intended to go.

"The FBI is not going to discuss the intentions or home life of a 15-year-old boy other than assuring the public that he did not pose a threat," said Special Agent Tom Simon, spokesman for the FBI's Honolulu office.

The boy chose Maui-bound Hawaiian Airlines flight 45, and in a death-defying episode, he climbed inside the Boeing 767's left rear wheel well and climbed out after it touched down 5 { hours later at Kahului Airport.

In between, he survived scarce oxygen and minus-85-degree temperatures at altitudes of 38,000 feet, making him part of a very small group of people to ever live through such an ordeal. Authorities say he was unconscious for most of the flight, and the Federal Aviation Administration said in cases it has studied, survivors fell into a hibernation-like state that slows their heart and breathing rate that makes the most of the feeble oxygen supply.

Meanwhile, the boy - who was reportedly unscathed afterward - remains at a Honolulu children's hospital where authorities say he is "resting comfortably" under the watch of the local Child Welfare Services office.

"Currently in the custody of the Hawaii Department of Human Services, Child Welfare Services officials continue to work with the appropriate agencies to ensure the youth's safe return to his home in California," the agency said in a statement released Tuesday.

When he does return, his school will be ready to bring him back into the fold.

"For any student who is need, we're going to provide counseling and psychological services, and that's going to be offered in this case," Santa Clara High School Principal Gregory Shelby said.

"The district is in contact with his family and authorities so that when he returns to school, he will be able to get the services he needs," he added, before referring additional questions to the school district.