The FBI has launched an investigation after airline pilots reported seeing a person flying in a jetpack nearly 3,000 feet above the Las Angeles International Airport over the weekend.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, reports from two separate airline flight crews stated 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.”
Fox 11 Los Angeles was able to obtain recorded communications during the flights between the aircraft and tower.
“Tower, American 1997, we just passed a guy in a jetpack,” a pilot said.
“American 1997, OK, thank you, were they off to your left side or your right side?” the controller asked.
“Off the left side at maybe 300 yards or so at our altitude,” the 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, 10-mile final,” the controller said.
Another pilot summed it up best: “Only in LA.”
The bizarre report as prompted much speculation as to why anyone with a jetpack would be flying in the line of incoming planes.
Steve Cowell, an aviation safety expert, said he believed the pilots’ reports.
“There’s no question in my mind that that American pilot was very definitive about what he saw out his window,” Cowell told Fox 11.
If it really were a man in a jetpack that could be a potentially deadly situation as you can imagine the consequences of a mid-air collision.
So far no one has come forward to take credit for the incredible stunt so, for now, it remains a mystery. Maybe it was a weird shaped balloon or a small helicopter or even the light playing tricks on the pilots’ eyes.
The Las Angeles Police Department is asking anyone with any information to contact them.