It was a quiet night on August 29 at the Los Angeles International Airport control tower. An American Airlines pilot went on the radio with an incredible report.
“Tower, American 1997. We passed a guy in a jet bag, ”Said the pilot.
A few minutes later, another pilot approaching LAX on a Jet Blue flight confirmed the scene: “We saw the guy passing us in a jet bag.”
One of the most interesting aviation mysteries faced in the Los Angeles years began.
The case took another turn on Wednesday China Airlines pilot As he approached the LAX he saw a jet bag flying at 6,000 feet above the ground.
The The FBI is in this case, Like a good part of LA’s aviation community, it sounds about the views.
Although jet bags often appear in movies and other popular cultures, they are actually very rare.
Only a handful of companies around the world make jet packs, including the formerly developed wing device Swiss Air Force pilot Yves Rosie, He should be airlifted by helicopter or balloon before departure. There is also a type of hoverboard made by the French company Zapada and flown only by its inventor, Frankie Zapada.
Locally, Chatsworth-based Jet Pack Aviation has developed five jet packs. But they are not for sale, and CEO David Memon said none of his competitors’ products were sold to consumers.
What was seen Wednesday near LAX may actually be a person flying by a jet bag. But the altitude at which the person was reported to be flying appears to be “very unlikely,” said Mike Hirschberg, executive director of the Vertical Aviation Association, a non-profit professional organization.
Memon said his company’s jet packs are technically capable of reaching an altitude of 15,000 feet. But due to fuel barriers, they can actually only reach about 1,000 or 1,500 feet safely from the ground.
“To fly up to 6,000 feet off the ground, fly as long as you can see with China Airlines, and then land again, you will run out of fuel,” he said.
Memon knows it has none of his company’s jet packs because he knows where they are – plus, they are disabled when not in use, so it is not possible to pull a package out of storage.
Instead, he thinks the sight might have been an electric drone – perhaps connected to a mannequin.
U.S. The pilot reported seeing the object at an altitude of 3,000 feet above Gudahi.
The pilot said he saw “a guy in a jet bag” 300 yards to his left and flying at the height of the plane.
“It’s very close,” Anthony said.
He said federal investigators would immediately look into the limited number of jet packages available in the United States and abroad.
“People in that community will know who bought these packages,” he said. “If anyone does this, they have to leave somewhere and land, there will be noise.”
Anthony said he suspects the culprit was taking him to an airport, and said investigators should look outside industrial areas for clues. The FBI has suggested that the jet be flown over an area of southeastern Los Angeles County near Gudahi and Vernon, along with business and manufacturing businesses.
The flying range of jet packs is very low, Anthony added, so it is unlikely to travel any great distances.
On Wednesday, the LAX control tower called a law enforcement plane to investigate a report by a China Airlines pilot.
According to radio communications, the plane was flying seven miles from where it was said to have seen the jet bag.
But when the craft arrived, there were no signs of a jet pack.
The FAA says a jet pack can be operated as an ultralight – meaning it will not be registered and its operator will not need a pilot’s license if it meets fuel efficiency, weight and speed requirements. Ultralight aircraft are only allowed to fly during the day, and they are prohibited from flying over densely populated areas or in restricted space without FAA approval.
Anthony and others say it is necessary to visit the FBI for security reasons.
“It represents the most important compromise of the airspace,” he said.
Anthony said that if a rogue pilot was flying at 6,000 feet without a transponder or radio, he would be taken to the maneuvers of commercial airlines in Los Angeles.
Air travelers are designed to withstand the impact of small objects. But if a metal object – especially one with fuel like a jet bag – is absorbed into an aircraft engine, it can lead to an explosion.
“Engines are large and not designed to absorb metal, or burn or explode with fuel,” Hirschberg said. “It simply came to our notice then. You could have a machine explode and crash the plane, and hundreds of people could die. ”
So are the ones announced near the locks really jet packs?
Some experts say this is possible.
Jetman pilot Vince Refet climbed the 1,800-meter distance in Dubai on Friday, February 14th.
In February, a pilot in Dubai reached an altitude of 5,900 feet, flying a Jetman jet pack powered by four mini jet engines with carbon-fiber wings. The pack builders say it can go up to almost 250 miles per hour. After several dip and roll maneuvers, the Dubai pilot landed using a parachute.
Others are still skeptical. Hirschberg said the machine found near the LAX may have been a balloon, particularly the China Airlines pilot, who noted that the flying object was shiny.
Or it could have been a drone, he said. In recent years, some airports have had to stop flights after drone sightings. In 2018, London’s Gatwick Airport has been closed for more than a day After seeing the drone again and again.
In the United States, recreational users are not allowed to fly their drones above 400 feet, fly over people or moving vehicles, and are prohibited from interfering with aircraft.
The FBI has so far been tight-lipped about its investigation.
But in late August, when the mystery began, the air traffic controller summed up the sentiments of many: “Only in LA.”
“Infuriatingly humble social media ninja. Devoted travel junkie. Student. Avid internet lover.”