For the second time in a month, an “airspace intruder” – a person seen flying in a jetpack some thousands of feet above Los Angeles International Airport — was visible to planes high in the sky on Wednesday.
The Federal Aviation Administration “now confirms a Chinese Airlines crew reported what they say appeared to be a jetpack-powered figure flying at 6,000 feet some seven 7 miles northwest of LAX airport. In September, pilots on two separate flights reported seeing what appeared to be a man with a jetpack while similarly on approach to LAX.
The FAA and the FBI were investigating reports from the previous similar sighting in early September.
“Two airline flight crews reported seeing what appeared to be someone in a jetpack as they were on their final approaches to LAX around 6:35 p.m. PDT Sunday,” the FAA said.
The sightings have their share of skeptics and believers.
Steve Cowell, an aviation safety expert, said he believed the pilots’ reports.
“There’s no question in my mind that that American pilot was very definitive about what he saw out his window,” Cowell told Fox 11.
Industry expert David Mayman was dubious that it was a person with a jetpack spotted by the pilots.
“It’s very, very unlikely with the existing technology,” said Mayman, CEO of the Los Angeles-based company Jetpack Aviation. “I’m open to being surprised. But I don’t think there’s anyone working on technology that could do a flight from ground level to 3,000 feet and then come back down again.”
Mayman speculated that it could have been a drone, but he added that 3,000 feet was on the high end of what most drones were capable of.