Charles Trepany, USA TODAY
Published 9: 06 p.m. ET Sept. 1, 2020
French jetman Vince Reffet was able to soar high above Dubai thanks to jet-powered wings. He few almost 6,000 feet above sea level on February 14th.
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s… some guy in a jet pack?
That might as well have been the conversation multiple pilots had with a control tower on Sunday night at Los Angeles International Airport, where they say they spotted a mystery person flying with a jet pack near incoming planes.
A spokesperson for the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed to USA TODAY that two airline flight crews reported seeing what appeared to be someone in a jet pack as they approached LAX. The spokesperson added that local law enforcement is looking into the situation.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is also aware of the pilots’ reports and is working to figure out what happened, FBI spokesperson Laura Eimiller told USA TODAY.
On Monday, Fox 11 published a recording of the communication between the control tower and the pilots.
“Tower, American 1997, we just passed a guy in a jet pack,” says an American Airlines pilot in the recording. A person in the tower responds, asking if the jet-pack flyer is on his right or left.
“Off the left side, maybe 300 yards or so, about our altitude,” says the pilot.
Another person, whom Fox 11 identifies as a SkyWest pilot, corroborates the claim. “We just saw the guy passing by us in the jet pack,” he tells the tower.
The person in the tower also warns an incoming JetBlue pilot that someone in a jet pack may be nearby.
“Jet Blue 23, use caution, a person in a jet pack reported 300 yards south of the LA final at about 3,000 feet, 10 mile final,” he says. The pilot replies, “Jet Blue 23, we heard and we are definitely looking.”
Another pilot sums it up best: “Only in LA.”
USA TODAY has reached out to representatives for LAX, the Los Angeles Police Department and the airlines involved for further comment and details.
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