FBI investigating pilot reports of “guy in jetpack” flying 3,000 feet high, interrupting LAX air-traffic
It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a.... guy in a jetpack?
Pilot AA1997 was just minding his own business, descending into LA towards LAX on September 1st, when he saw something in the air that totally dumbfounded him. His brow furrowed as he pulled his aviators low on his nose and squinted, peering out at the shape floating some 300 yards outside his window.
He nudged his co-pilot who did a double take and, like-wise pulled his sunglasses off his face.
“What the fuck?”
AA1997 was somewhat relieved he wasn’t hallucinating, but was also disturbed by the fact what he was seeing was actually real. He’d never even heard of something like this… except in Marvel movies.
He picked up his radio.
"Tower, American 1997,” he said. “We just passed a guy in a jetpack.''
Not long after that, another pilot radioed in claiming to have seen the exactly same thing in the same area of Cudahy, LA. The airport authorities quickly passed the report onto the FBI, who have since initiated a full investigation into the incident. Who was the jet-pack man? What was he doing so high in the air? Did he know he was violating airspace? Was it Ironman? Or just Elon Musk playing with some new toy?
The FBI continues to investgate reports of a #jetpack near #LAX on 8/30. Anyone with info about activity on or above the ground at the location depicted here should call the FBI. The FBI takes seriously events that threaten US airspace & investigates alleged violations #SafeSkies pic.twitter.com/dLZcZeRDuc— FBI Los Angeles (@FBILosAngeles) September 4, 2020
It’s still a mystery. The FBI is asking for any leads anyone might have. The FAA was notified and they passed the case along to the LAPD, who did a flyover to search for the “guy in a jet pack” … to no avail.
Advanced commercial jetpacks can reach heights of 3000 feet, but it is extremely uncommon and extremely dangerous. Most of the time, people only use them for short low-level air-born rides.
Soaring so high into the air you encounter air traffic, is bold bordering on stupid, and (honestly) pretty badass. It’s also extremely illegal.
Hence the FBI’s investigation. Had this jetpack man collided with one of the airplanes that passed by him, it could have been devastating for everyone aboard the flight (not to mention the guy in the jetpack).
Could this have been some social media stunt by a well-funded daredevil? Or was it a local mad-scientist testing out their latest invention? Will jetpack man ever reveal himself?
If he does, chances are he’s going to prison for a long time. Violating class B airspace is a pretty serious crime, intentional or not. If the Feds ever discover this person’s identity, they’re going to try and make an example out of them to prevent any future jetpackers from attempting similar stunts.