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A ‘guy in a jetpack’ flew near airplanes at LAX. Here’s what happened

American Airlines and Southwest Airlines planes said they saw someone flying a jetpack

A empty street is seen at the Los Angeles International Airport Thursday, May 28, 2020, in Los Angeles. From Britain’s EasyJet to American and Delta in the U.S., airlines are cutting even more jobs to cope with a crushing drop in air travel caused by the coronavirus.
A empty street is seen at the Los Angeles International Airport Thursday, May 28, 2020, in Los Angeles. From Britain’s EasyJet to American and Delta in the U.S., airlines are cutting even more jobs to cope with a crushing drop in air travel caused by the coronavirus.
AP

Someone flew a jetpack at Los Angeles International Airport this week and pilots spotted him, according to Mashable.

What happened:

American Airlines and Southwest Airlines planes said they saw someone flying a jetpack as they approached the LAX airport, according to NBC Los Angeles.

  • One pilot said: “Tower, American 1997. We just passed a guy in a jetpack.”
  • The air traffic controller replied: “American 1997, OK, thank you for the update. Left side or right side?’’
  • The pilot said: “Off the left side at maybe, uh, 300 yards or so, at our altitude.’’
  • “Tower, we just saw the guy pass by us.”

The LAX tower then told a JetBlue pilot that there was “a person with a jetpack reported 300 yards south of the L.A. final at about 3,000 feet.’’

  • The pilot said: “We heard and are definitely looking.’’

Ian Gregor, communications manager for the FAA’s Pacific Division, confirmed the incident in a statement to NBC Los Angeles.

“Two airline flight crews reported seeing what appeared to be someone in a jetpack as they were on their final approaches to LAX around 6:35 p.m. PDT Sunday. The FAA alerted local law enforcement to the reports, and is looking into these reports.”

The FBI has begun an investigation, according to the Associated Press.

Why it matters:

Seth Young, a pilot and a professor of aviation at Ohio State University, told The New York Times that it was “very dangerous” to fly near an airplane like that.

“The risk is obviously having a collision with that airplane or getting a drone, or the person getting ingested into an engine,” Young said. “We have these issues with birds flying within congested airspace, as well.”