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Teen Stowaway Speaks Out About His Death-Defying Plane Ride

The teen who miraculously survived a flight inside the plane's wheel well is speaking out about the terrifying trip for the first time.
Posted at 11:56 AM, Jun 18, 2014

Remember the teen who miraculously survived a flight from California to Hawaii by tucking himself in the wheel well of a jet? That was in April, and now he's finally talking publicly about his experience.

YAHYA ABDI: "It was above the clouds. I could see through the little holes."

REPORTER: "You could see the clouds and ocean below you?"

YAHYA: "Yeah." (Via KPIX)

In an exclusive interview with KPIX on Google Hangout Tuesday, 15-year-old Yahya Abdi said he couldn't believe he survived after crouching inside the plane's wheel well for the five-and-a-half-hour flight.

Fox News reports Abdi ran away from home, then jumped a fence at San Jose International Airport and sneaked into the wheel of the first flight he saw. Officials say he then endured subzero temperatures at 35,000 feet. (Via CNN)

Abdi told police he did it all to track down his birth mother, who the Daily Mail says lives in a refugee camp in Ethiopia. The teen reportedly spoke to her on the phone for the first time Tuesday.

Thankfully, Abdi wasn't seriously hurt during the flight, and he says he has since regained his hearing and is doing OK physically. But he warned others against doing what he did that day. (Via BBC)

"They shouldn't run away because sometimes they will end up dying." (Via KPIX)​

Abdi is currently staying at a foster home and plans to live with his aunt in the Minneapolis area sometime soon. After graduating high school, he says he wants to join the army.