Another jetpack man was seen flying over Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Wednesday — at no less than 6,000 ft (1,828 m), and a couple of miles northwest of the airport's flight hub, according to an initial report from The New York Times.
Another jetpack man spotted flying 6,000 feet above LAX
This marks the second sighting in six weeks aviation officials and professionals saw someone flying a jetpack near LAX. It started at 1:45 PM local time when the crew of a China Airlines Flight 006 (bound for LAX) — a Boeing 777 inbound from Taipei — informed air traffic controllers of a flying object, reports Popular Mechanics.
Some of the transcript from the sighting was made available thanks to audio from The War Zone:
China Airlines 006: "We just saw a bright object at 6,000."
LAX Tower: "006 heavy can you say that one more time please?"
China Airlines 006: "We saw a flying object like a [flight suit jetpack at 6,000]."
LAX Tower: "Was it UAV or was it a jetpack?"
China Airlines 006: "Like a jetpack. Too shiny. It's too far."
LAX Tower: "006 heavy, roger, thank you... Emirates 215 heavy there was a jetpack reported about 13 miles ahead."
The jetpack future we deserve, not the one we want
Later, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) told CNBC it had the report and also immediately told local law enforcement. Obviously, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is taking interest in an unknown man in a jetpack flying over major airports. A spokeswoman told the Times the Bureau is "investigating multiple reports of what, according to witnesses, appeared to be an individual in a jetpack near LAX."
This comes on the heels of another recent encounter at LAX. On August 29, American Airlines Flight 1997 reported what the pilot described as "a guy in a jetpack" only 300 yards (274.3 m) out the plane's left windows — while it soared over the busy airspace at roughly 3,000 ft (914 m).
A different pilot in an LAX-bound plane said of the strange situation: "Only in L.A.," Popular Mechanics reports.
However, this latest sighting sounds like a stretch — at 6,000 ft (1,828 m) the jetpack man would be flying at nearly six times the height of New York City's Empire State and Chrysler buildings — both of which are more than 1,000 ft (304 m).
While this stunt isn't isolated, it's interesting to note how different the present is from the future imagined in sci-fi films of the mid-to-late 20th century — where we were led to believe flying cars, jetpacks carrying everyone around a futuristic utopia was just around the corner. While we may not have a utopia, or even flying cars, some people have the jetpacks.