Former 'Amazing Race' Contestant Was Once An Airplane Stowaway
B.J. Averell won The Amazing Race and knows what the teenaged stowaway went through because he was a stowaway, too.
He told INSIDE EDITION's Jim Moret, "I looked up at the plane and everyone was just staring at this young stowaway."
The season nine winner hid out in the bathroom of a Delta plane from Boston to Philadelphia in 1999 when he was a student at Harvard.
He said, “They were collecting boarding passes before people walked onto this ramp and onto the tarmac and onto the plane. I just walked around the people collecting the boarding passes."
He walked into the airplane's bathroom.
In an airplane bathroom at Air Hollywood, the largest aviation-themed studio in the world, INSIDE EDITION found out how cramped it was.
"I definitely thought I would just get away with it and touch down and see my family and have Thanksgiving. Then, instead, I wound up in handcuffs on the tarmac," he said.
Unlike the Hawaiian Airlines stowaway, Averell was caught. A passenger alerted the flight attendant and he was taken into custody and escorted off the plane. All charges were later dropped.
Moret asked, "Did you look back and say, 'That was really stupid?'"
Averell said, "Yes. As it was happening I thought, 'Oh man, this is really stupid. I can't believe I did this.'"
New photos of the wheel well of the Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 767 where the 15-year-old stowed away show hand and shoe prints across landing gear door. There's also a shoe print on a tire.
INSIDE EDITION producer Daela Cetron checked out an identical wheel well in California. As she climbed in it was visible how the teen might have left his footprint on the tire.
Moret asked Averell, "When you heard about this stowaway, 15 years after your experience, what does that tell you about airline security?"
Averell replied, "That there are still a few gaps if you know where to look. But, there are dangers that come when you want to squeeze through those gaps."