Airline crews report jetpack flier near LAX
LOS ANGELES — The Federal Aviation Administration said Tuesday it is investigating reports from airline pilots that someone was flying in a jetpack as they approached Los Angeles International Airport to land last weekend.
“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 said.
The statement did not elaborate.
Fox 11 Los Angeles obtained recordings of communications between the aircraft and the tower.
“Tower, American 1997, we just passed a guy in a jetpack,” a pilot said. Another pilot also reported a sighting. “We just saw the guy pass by us in the jetpack,” he said.
The controller then advised another aircraft flight crew to use caution.
“Person in a jetpack reported 300 yards south of the LA final at about 3,000 feet, 10mile final,” the controller said.
Industry expert David Mayman was dubious that it was a jetpack seen by the pilots.
“It’s very, very unlikely with the existing technology,” said Mayman. “I’m open to being surprised. But I don’t think there’s anyone working on technology that could do a flight from ground level to 3,000 feet and then come back down again.”
Mayman speculated that it could have been a drone, but he added that 3,000 feet was on the high end of what most drones were capable of.