‘Only in LA’: Pilots landing at LAX report a ‘guy in a jetpack’ flying near them as they approach the runway at 3,000ft
- Two pilots flying into LAX on Sunday evening reported seeing a person in a jetpack flying alongside them at 3,000ft
- The first American Airlines pilot reported that the jetpack was only 300 yards to the left of the plane
- The sighting was confirmed by a second JetBlue pilot
- No collision was reported but experts say the jetpack flight was extremely dangerous if true
- An investigation is underway
An American Airlines pilot flying into Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday evening placed an unusual call into the control tower after allegedly spotting a ‘guy in a jetpack’ flying alongside the plane.
At an altitude of 3,000ft, the aircraft was about ten miles out from the airport when the confused pilot spotted the jetpack about 300 yards to the left of his window.
The sighting was confirmed by a second pilot but as yet, nobody has come forward with an explanation.
‘Only in LA,’ the tower joked, according to Good Morning America. ‘Don’t hear that every day.’
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The first American Airlines pilot reported that the jetpack was only 300 yards to the left of the plane as he approached LAX on Sunday evening at 3,000ft. A JetBlue pilot confirmed
‘Tower, American 1997, we just passed a guy in a jetpack,’ the first American Airlines pilot stated as he put the call in.
‘American 1997, OK, thank you. Were they off to your left or right side?’ the bemused tower answered.
‘Off the left side, maybe 300 yards or so, about our altitude,’ the pilot added.
‘We just saw the guy pass us by in the jetpack,’ the second pilot from JetBlue confirmed.
A third JetBlue plane in the area was warned to be on alert by did not spot the mysterious jetpack.
‘JetBlue23, we heard and we are definitely looking,’ the amused pilot said.
Flying at this altitude with a jetpack is not typical, according to Fox 11, and would certainly not be capable of flying for a long period of time.
‘Even the most technologically advances jetpacks can only fly very briefly so its possible this person may have come up and he may have gone down and driven away,’ aviation safety expert Steve Cowell told the station.
Yet he believes the pilot account of what happened.
Jetpacks are expensive and generally only used in a highly controlled environment
‘There’s no question in my mind that the pilot was very definitive about what he saw out his window,’ Cowell added.
Ross Aimer, an aero consulting expert, also believes the pilot but cautioned that it was an extremely dangerous place for anybody to be using a jetpack in this area, risking serious injury to both themselves and those on the plane if there was any kind of collision.
The airspace around LAX is among the busiest and most complex in the United States.
‘Whoever was operating, if it is a jetpack, this was a crazy place to be,’ he said.
‘God forbid they would have hit this object, whatever it was, could get sucked into the engine. At low altitude that could cause considerable damage to the aircraft passengers, not considering the person that was in the jetpack.
Jetpacks can at times reach as high as 6,000ft but due to the money and technology involved, they are tried in controlled environments, not in the airspace used by commercial jets.
The Drive reports that Yves ‘Jetman’ Rossi’s jetpacks would have the capability but his flights have always taken place in a highly controlled environment and with plenty of buzz surrounding them.
It has been suggested that the ‘jetpack’ may have in fact been a drone, also dangerous if true.
An investigation is now underway but the Federal Aviation Administration said as of yet, it is an unverified report.
The Los Angeles Police Department Air Support Division has also been informed.
No collisions were reported.