Teen Was Found Hiding in an Airplane Wheel at Salt Lake City International Airport
A teenager was found hiding “in or around” the wheel well of a regional jet parked at a maintenance hangar ramp Salt Lake City International Airport, airport officials told Travel + Leisure.
The 16-year-old, who has yet to be identified, was spotted by an airline mechanic Thursday who was conducting an inspection of the plane parked northwest of the airport’s terminals, according to officials.
While police were investigating the incident, they discovered the same teen was linked to a possible car theft. Airport police pulled over a car with two people in it on Thursday night around 10:20 p.m. for a traffic violation. But the same teen who was hiding in the jet wheel took off in the car while the other passenger stepped out of the vehicle, according to the Associated Press.
Police later contacted the car's owner and determined it had been stolen. Both teens have since been arrested and are currently being held in juvenile detention, police said.
This is not the first time individuals have been spotted hiding out in unexpected area's of an aircraft’s corridors. Security concerns were raised after a 15-year-old boy snuck in to the wheel well of a Boeing 767 back in 2014, while two other teenagers were killed after crawling to hide out in a plane’s landing gear.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, stowaways who enter a plane’s wheel well face extreme dangers like hypothermia because temperatures in the aircraft can fall below zero once the plane starts to accelerate.