Authorities say the teen had handcuffs, rope and duct tape in his bag and was believed to be traveling alone. He also had a copy of the flight plan and schedules.
They say he was calm through the flight and never made an attempt to hijack the plane.
Air travelers were amazed someone would even consider such a stunt.
"Sounds like a desperate cry for attention. Handcuffs and duct tape are not going to get you where you want to go," said airport passenger Kyle Bartlett.
The teen's name has not been released. He's charged with felony terrorism.
Authorities searched the boy's home in California and found a mock cockpit, he said.
A law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the teen's juvenile status, said the boy was from Novato, Calif., a suburb of San Francisco, but could not elaborate.
Juvenile Court Administrator Tim Adgent said a hearing scheduled Friday afternoon would determine whether the teen should remain in custody or "if there other avenues for his release."
A message left with the juvenile public defender's office was not immediately returned.
The boy is currently facing only state charges. Nashville District Attorney General spokeswoman Susan Niland would not release the nature of the charges because the suspect is a minor.
Federal prosecutors were still reviewing the case and had not filed any charges as of Friday morning, said David Boling, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office in Middle Tennessee.
The FBI dismissed broadcast reports Thursday night that the teen was planning to crash the plane into a "Hannah Montana" concert in Lafayette, La.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.