Pilots Report Flying by a 'Guy in a Jetpack' at LAX

The pilots say they spotted the person about 3,000 above the ground.

The friendly skies are full of surprises.

According to USA Today, multiple pilots at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) spotted a person flying around the vicinity of incoming planes with a jetpack on Sunday.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) told USA Today that local law enforcement is investigating the incident, citing that two flight crews spotted the person around 3,000 feet in the air. Not only are police in Los Angeles investigating what happened, but the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is also looking into the situation, according to FBI spokesperson Laura Eimiller to USA Today.

“Tower, American 1997, we just passed a guy in a jet pack,” said an American Airlines pilot in a recording of the incident published by FOX 11. He specifies that the jetpack flyer was only about 300 yards away from the aircraft, about 10 miles out from the airport. Another SkyWest pilot also claimed to see the person, according to FOX 11.

Airplane flying over Los Angeles International airport.
Getty Images

Air traffic controllers in the tower then warn a JetBlue pilot about the person and advise to use caution, according to FOX 11. The pilot responds that they are already aware of the situation and are looking out for the mysterious jetpack flyer.

“Only in L.A.,” the JetBlue pilot adds in the recording, according to FOX 11.

It’s not currently known why the jetpacker was flying around the airport. Steve Cowell, a retired pilot and aviation safety expert told FOX 11 that the incident could have been a “misguided stunt.” Most jetpacks don’t normally fly too high and flying them around incoming planes is extremely dangerous.

“Even the most technologically advanced jetpacks, you know, can only fly very briefly. So, it’s possible he may have — this person may have gone up, and then come down, and then driven away,” Cowell said in an interview with FOX 11.

In other strange news related to flying, Japan just successfully tested a manned flying car, but airplane pilots probably don't have to worry about sharing the skies just yet.

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