Wednesday's sighting marks the second time pilots have reported seeing someone flying in a jetpack in the LAX approach pattern. The FBI has been investigating but has not announced any leads.
(TNS) — When a pilot for
When it received the request, the aircraft was flying about seven miles from where the pilot said he'd seen the jetpack, according to radio communications. But when the craft arrived, no sign was found of a person flying in a jetpack.
Wednesday's sighting marks the second time pilots have reported seeing someone flying in a jetpack in the LAX approach pattern in a little over a month. The
Within aviation circles, there has been much speculation about whether this is really a person in a jetpack or perhaps a drone that looks like the device.
Air traffic controllers took no chances with the reported
The tower sought clarification, asking the pilot to repeat himself. The pilot then replied, "We saw a flying object ... flight suit jetpack at 6,000."
The surprised-sounding air traffic controller asked: "Was it a UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle, or drone] or was it a jetpack?"
The tower then warned another large jetliner, an Emirates flight, "there was a jetpack reported about 13 miles ahead."
Air traffic controllers spotted a law enforcement aircraft about seven miles away and asked for its assistance to check out the reported sighting.
As air traffic controllers began redirecting flights around that section of airspace, the law enforcement aircraft flew to the last known sighting of the jetpack.
"Not seeing anything," the pilot reported.
In the earlier sighting, on
"Tower, American 1997. We just passed a guy in a jetpack," an
"American 1997, OK, thank you. Were they off to your left or right side?" the tower operator asked.
"Off the left side, maybe 300 yards or so, about our altitude," the pilot responded.
"We just saw the guy pass us by in the jetpack," a pilot from
"Only in L.A.," the air traffic controller said at one point.
(c)2020 the Los Angeles Times. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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