A teenager stunned fellow passengers when he leapt out of the airplane they were in, minutes after touching down in San Francisco on Tuesday (Aug 2).
The boy, 17, has been detained after he opened the emergency door of the plane and slid down a wing onto the tarmac, officials told BBC.
He was subsequently confronted by construction staff working within the area and held until police arrived to arrest him, said the BBC report.
San Francisco Airport (SFO) spokesmon Doug Yakel told the media that the teen, who is a US citizen, was flying solo onboard the Panama-based Copa Airlines from Panama City to San Francisco.
He added that the boy had appeared to be in "emotional distress" during the flight and was not injured after the incident.
In a statement to San Francisco news outlet KRON 4, Copa Airlines said "the incident occurred a few minutes after landing, while the aircraft was taxiing to the gate".
A Copa crew member closed the exit door, and the aircraft proceeded to the gate where all other passengers and crew disembarked safely, read the statement.
An eyewitness, Sophia Gibson, told San Jose's KNTV that it looked as if the teenager was "flying out" when he jumped out the door.
Another passenger, 11-year-old Andrea Sepulveda Guzman, told CBS San Francisco that "everyone was just screaming" when they realised what was happening.
It is still unknown why the teenager jumped out.
According to SFO, US Customs and Border Protection is handling the investigation into the incident.