A China Airlines crew member has reported seeing someone in a jet pack flying at an altitude of 6,000 feet near LA International Airport, according to the Federal Aviation Authority.
The crew member spotted the individual around seven miles northwest of the airport about 1:45 p.m. Wednesday, the FAA said.
An air traffic controller overseeing airline approaches also reported seeing what appeared to be a person in a jet pack at around 6,500 feet and warned a commercial pilot who was just about to land at the airport.
The FBI and LAX officials are both investigating the sightings, in what marks the second incident of an individual in a jet pack crossing into the airport’s flight path in just over a month.
A China Airlines crew member has reported seeing someone in a jet pack flying at an altitude of 6,000 feet near LA International Airport (above), according to the Federal Aviation Authority
The FAA alerted local law enforcement to Wednesday’s sighting and both the aviation authority and LAX officials are now investigating the incident.
Sources told the LA Times the FBI is also investigating the sighting in what is among the busiest airspaces across America.
This marks the second reported sighting of a person in a jet pack flying close to the California airport in the last six weeks.
Back on August 29, two commercial pilots on separate flights with American Airlines and Jet Blue Airlines both communicated sightings to the watch tower on the ground at around 6:45 p.m.
The American Airlines pilot alerted the LAX control tower that the plane had just passed a ‘guy in a jet pack’ just 300 yards to the left of the aircraft and at the same altitude as it made its final approach.
‘Tower, American 1997. We just passed a guy in a jet pack,’ the pilot said in the call, recordings of the communications show.
‘American 1997, OK, thank you. Were they off to your left or right side?’ the tower operator asked.
The pilot replied: ‘Off the left side, maybe 300 yards or so, about our altitude.’
The Jet Blue pilot soon after told the tower: ‘We just saw the guy pass us by in the jet pack.’
The crew member spotted the individual around seven miles northwest of the airport about 1:45 p.m. Wednesday, the FAA said
Pictured ‘Jetpack Man’ flies during the 2018 Red Bull Air Race World Championships in Cannes
The control tower then warned another Jet Blue aircraft about the individual.
‘Person in a jetpack reported 300 yards south of the LA final at about 3,000 feet , 10-mile final,’ the air traffic controller said.
‘JetBlue23, we heard and we are definitely looking,’ the pilot responded.
‘Only in LA,’ the controller added at one point.
The FBI launched an investigation into the mysterious sighting but no explanation has been given yet.
If the sightings are what they seem, the person flying through the flight path could face a hefty fine.
The FAA views jetpacks as ‘ultralight’ aircraft which means they are banned from flying ‘over any congested area of a city, town, or settlement, or over any open air assembly of persons’ such as LAX airspace.
A violation of this rule could result in a $1,100 to $27,500 fine.
Some experts said they were skeptical about the reported sightings claiming the technology is not advanced enough and that it was more likely to be a drone.
David Mayman, CEO of Jetpack Aviation which is working with the US military to develop a jetpack, told CBS he believed the August sighting was more likely to be a large drone.
‘It’s very, very unlikely with the existing technology,’ said Mayman.
‘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.
‘They’d run out of fuel, they use fuel too quickly,’ Mayman continued. ‘If it’s a real jetpack, its noisy. People would have heard it take off and land.’
He said if the pilots did see a jetpack, it was likely ‘whoever flew this probably built it themselves’ as jetpacks produced by companies like his are not available to commercial customers.