For the second time in two months, a person was spotted flying a jet pack near the Los Angeles airport. In the most recent sighting, a China Airlines crew flying from Taipei reported seeing someone in a jet pack just before 2 p.m, according to the FAA.
The following transcript from LAX air traffic control shows the pilot’s reaction.
“Flying object – was it a UAV or was it a jet pack?”
“215 heavy there was a jetpack reported about 13 miles ahead.”
The person in the jetpack was noticed by numerous crew members, so the claims are being taken very seriously, especially since they have been similar sightings in recent months. The crew that spotted the jetpack estimated that it was flying over the Century City area at about 6,000 feet.
In late August, two different pilots reported spotting a person flying in a jetpack roughly 3,000 feet above Los Angeles, near the Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday evening. The person was not found after the reports were made.
“Tower, American 1997, we just passed a guy in a jetpack,” an American Airlines pilot said to air traffic control, according to recordings by LiveATC.net.
“American 1997… Okay…. Were they off to your left side or right side?” the controller asked.
Soon after, another pilot called in with a similar sighting.
“We just saw the guy passing by us in the jetpack,” a SkyWest pilot told controllers.
According to the FAA, reports of unidentified aircraft sightings have increased drastically over the past two years, with over 100 reports of unidentified crafts each month. This increase in sightings is most likely due to drones, but occasionally something strange like this happens.
According to ABC News, there are some human jetpacks on the market that can reach up to 12,000 feet and can cost about a half-million dollars.
Retired Marine Col. Steve Ganyard said that flying a jetpack in busy airspace like LAX could be potentially dangerous.
“The size, weight of a person in a jet pack impacting an airplane at the exact wrong spot could potentially bring that airliner down. This is why it’s so important for when these technologies come along — drones, jetpacks, taxis in the sky — that people need to fly them in a responsible way and not put the flying public in danger,” Ganyard said.
The FBI is reportedly investigating the sightings, but they haven’t announced any leads or suspects.
“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,” FBI Los Angeles Field Office spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said Wednesday, according to CNN.