At the beginning of last month, several aircraft crews spotted a man in a jet pack on approach to Los Angeles International. This unique incident prompted the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to launch an investigation. However, there are now reports of more pilots coming across the mysterious person flying near the Southern Californian hub this week.
According to CBS Los Angeles, FAA spokesperson Ian Gregor shared that at approximately 13:45, a crew from China Airlines reported what appears to be someone in a jet pack at an altitude of around 6,000 feet.
The location was seven miles northwest of LAX. A pilot from the carrier said that his team saw an object that looked like a flying suit passing by. Meanwhile, an air traffic radio report also spoke of a flying object in the area. Subsequently, local authorities were consulted and are looking into the matter.
The FBI has shared the following about the incident, according to CBS Los Angeles:
“The FBI is in contact with the FAA and is investigating multiple reports of what, according to witnesses, appeared to be an individual in a jetpack near LAX, including one today reported by a China Airlines crew. Anyone with information should contact the FBI at 310 477-6565.”
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There has been some debate about what the object being seen in Los Angeles actually is. Some people are convinced that a person with a jet pack, while others feel that it could just be an advanced drone.
For instance, Jetpack Aviation CEO David Mayman is querying about how nobody is spotting a person in the jet pack taking off and landing. Moreover, he added that the machines are loud. Therefore, the noise would attract attention.
The executive also said that his firm wouldn’t fly its devices that high without rigorous safety measures and careful consideration. He said that, at 6,000 feet, his company would run out of fuel and that it wouldn’t fly without a parachute system.
Regardless, despite Mayman’s reservations, he is not ruling out the possibility of the object being a jet pack. Altogether, the industry is evolving so quickly that it wouldn’t come as a massive surprise.
The practice is nonetheless hazardous as there is flying activity where several aircraft are passing by. The implications could be severe, and it is not something officials would take lightly. Jose Moreno, a veteran United pilot who is convinced that crews are spotting a jet pack, says that the stunt is a total disregard of safety.
Whether it’s a drone or a jet pack, any flying object near an airport can cause severe disruption for airline operations. For instance, reported drone activity notoriously brought London Gatwick to a standstill at the end of 2018.
The device had the airport grounding aircraft for days, disrupting 140,000 passengers and 1,000 flights. The events hit the pockets of many carriers, such as easyJet. The British outfit lost £15 million ($19.3 million) during the 36 hours of chaos. Therefore, aviation bodies will be hoping that there is a swift conclusion to the current investigation in Los Angeles.
What are your thoughts about these incidents at Los Angeles International? Is the object is a man in a jet pack, or is it something else? Let us know what you think of the situation in the comment section.