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How could teen have gotten away with it?

Teen Stowaway Prompts Skepticism, Security Concerns
Teen Stowaway Prompts Skepticism, Security Concerns
Perhaps Monday's biggest story also garnered plenty of skepticism. A teenage boy's survival on a cross-Pacific flight in the wheel well of a plane brought on plenty of descriptors like incredible, miraculous ... and unbelievable.

Pilot Jim Simeone says: "It just seems too impossible for me because there's not really any room in the wheel well for a human being to be without being crushed. At that height, there's really not air to breathe, so you're dead. It's so cold, you're dead."

So yes, the skeptics were well covered Monday. But what about those not so much focused on a single story of survival from San Jose to Hawaii, but rather how the teen got to the plane in the first place?

CNN noted much of the immediate finger pointing targeted Transportation Security Administration workers stationed at the airport even though the TSA's role at any airport is typically limited to the terminal, not the grounds.

KGO-TV reports authorities say surveillance video captures the boy hopping a fence surrounding the airport grounds around 1:00 a.m. Sunday before he climbed into the wheel well shown here.

Perhaps the most thorough security analysis came from the San Jose Mercury News. The paper quoted the airport spokeswoman as saying it has more than 1,000 acres to patrol, which is a lot of fence line.

However, it also talked to a senior adviser for RAND Corp., a think tank that offers analysis to the U.S. Armed Forces. Brian Jenkins said, "If somebody can come onto an airport and get to the wheel well of an airplane, then someone else can plant a bomb or do something else to sabotage an aircraft."

The Mercury News also noted a House Homeland Security Subcommittee is drafting a request the Government Accountability Office update its report from 2009 on what airports need for perimeter security. It listed five other major security breaches since that report, though they only resulted in the trespasser getting hurt at most.


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renega7402 April 22 2014 at 11:33 AM

Why don't we give the terrorists more ideas.

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1 reply
violetzrblue72 renega7402 April 22 2014 at 11:42 AM

I agree with all this media overload. They caught him so did the media have to get wind of it and air it. Gosh if I burned my toast and the pat of butter fell on the floor would that be media worthy.

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feyth2 April 22 2014 at 12:06 PM

How about an electric fence surrounding the perimeter of the airport?

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2 replies
ggfraser921 feyth2 April 22 2014 at 12:07 PM

how about machine guns

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1 reply
miriamisrael1 ggfraser921 April 22 2014 at 12:11 PM

regardless of his stupid act he is just a kid. no one needs machine guns for that

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ginderat feyth2 April 22 2014 at 12:10 PM

I was just about to suggest the same thing.

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kramcicvak April 22 2014 at 11:55 AM

Absolutely impossible. Minus 75 degrees up there.

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1 reply
Doug kramcicvak April 22 2014 at 12:02 PM

Some aircraft route bleed air from anti ice systems into the wheel wheels to keep the brakes from freezing if you departed a contaminated runway.

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Ronald April 22 2014 at 11:55 AM

more room than in the Seats

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1 reply
debbie Ronald April 22 2014 at 11:59 AM

The headline says "how big is the wheel well of an airplane" but the article doesn't say a word about how big the wheel well is.

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ae12wrangell April 22 2014 at 11:57 AM

What Honolulu Poloice, Homeland Security, FBI, and Hawaain Airlines believe is - the kid crawled into the wheel compartment, and just after take-off, found the door to the Baggage Compartment. How else would he survive? At 38,000 ft above sea level, and higher than Mt. Everest is tall, it's about -70 degrees. 2 years ago, a kid trid this and stayed IN the wheel compartment. as the wheel came down, his dead body fell out just short of Dover Airport.

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Bill April 22 2014 at 12:00 PM

I wonder how many other people stowed away like this but instead fell out somewhere over the ocean or remote land areas, never to be heard from again? That raises all sorts of possibilities such as people who knew the lost person being suspected in their disappearance. I'm sure it is rare but I'm also sure it has happened.

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1 reply
UCrazy99 Bill April 22 2014 at 12:14 PM

You hear about it happening a lot in 3rd world countries. Where people try to escape to another country by hiding the wheel well either to fall out, or be found frozen to death once the plane lands...

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rwmanley April 22 2014 at 12:03 PM

So many people have thier opinion of what the TSA does at the Airport . Guarding the Tarmac or ramp areas is not one of them. That is a job of the Airport Security.

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1 reply
ggfraser921 rwmanley April 22 2014 at 12:10 PM

tsa was too busy feeling up grandma and throwing out breast milk to notice

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Doug April 22 2014 at 12:04 PM

The Captain is the Ground Securirty Coordinator. He is responsible to check all compartments on the aircraft before passengers are loaded.

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1 reply
ggfraser921 Doug April 22 2014 at 12:08 PM

its not in his job description

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icebudda April 22 2014 at 12:05 PM

Lets go to the videotape. Surely a camera caught something. They're everywhere these days.

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1 reply
miriamisrael1 icebudda April 22 2014 at 12:11 PM

except for where they really should be

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Carla Beckman April 22 2014 at 12:07 PM

I was skeptical about this story for the reasons given. Five hours in extreme cold and lacking oxygen. It makes no sense.

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