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Nation/World

L.A. air-traffic controller warns pilot of person with jet pack flying at 6,500 feet

  • Author: Richard Winton
    , Los Angeles Times
  • Updated: October 15
  • Published October 15

A pedestrian walks past the Theme Building between Terminals 2 and 6 at Los Angeles International Airport in May 2017. An air traffic controller radioed a pilot Wednesday afternoon warning of a man wearing a jet pack about 6,500 feet. (Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles International Airport officials are investigating reports of someone wearing a jet pack Wednesday in the flight path, the second such report in a month.

An air traffic controller radioed a pilot Wednesday afternoon warning of a man wearing a jet pack about 6,500 feet. The precise location was unknown. LAX and Federal Aviation Administration officials said they could not comment further.

The FBI is investigating the latest sighting, according to sources familiar with the latest probe. Federal officials are also investigating an earlier incident in which two commercial pilots said they saw a man in a jetpack flying around the eastern approach to LAX six weeks ago.

In the Aug. 29 incident, the control tower at LAX received reports about the jet pack around 6:45 p.m.

“Tower, American 1997. We just passed a guy in a jet pack,” an American Airlines pilot stated in a call to the control tower.

“American 1997, OK, thank you. Were they off to your left or right side?” the tower operator answered.

“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 jet pack,” a pilot from Jet Blue Airways then told the tower, which warned another pilot about the sighting.

“Only in L.A.,” the air traffic controller said at one point.

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