LAX Jetpack Guy Caught On Video?!?

Filed Under: Misc.

The mystery keeps getting stranger. While the FBI hasn’t had any luck with its investigation, did a pilot just capture the infamous LAX jetpack guy on video?

Basics of the LAX jetpack guy

Over the past few months, multiple airline pilots on approach to LAX reported seeing someone in a jetpack flying dangerously close to planes:

The FAA & FBI have been thoroughly investigating this, though as of now no findings have been made public. This situation is incredibly mysterious for a variety of reasons:

  • This jetpack was being operated in restricted airspace, just hundreds of feet from commercial aircraft, which is dangerous and reckless
  • There aren’t many jetpacks that can operate at altitudes of 3,000+ feet, so that narrows down the number of potential jetpacks
  • What is someone’s motive for even doing this, given that they could be looking at serious punishment for operating a jetpack in a restricted area?
  • How has not a single person publicly come forward and said “hey, I know that person” or “I saw that person take off in a jetpack,” given that jetpacks tend to draw attention?

Was the jetpack guy caught on camera?

On December 21, 2020, Sling Pilot Academy flight instructors caught what appears to be a jetpack on camera. They were doing some training flights at around 3,000 feet near Palos Verdes, south of Los Angeles, with Catalina Island visible in the background. Here’s the video:

It’s worth emphasizing that we don’t know for sure that this is a jetpack at all, or that this is the jetpack that was spotted near LAX. But this does raise quite a few questions:

  • Is this actually a jetpack, or a drone that’s modified to look like a jetpack, and that’s not actually a person on there? While I could see that being done for “show” in a populated area, this is out over the ocean
  • How many people in the LA-area have high altitude jetpacks with this kind of performance?
  • If this was in fact someone in a jetpack over the open ocean like this, why? What was the goal? Best I can tell, jetpacks have ranges in the minutes (at most), so it’s not like most jetpacks can fly for an hour

Bottom line

The jetpack guy situation keeps getting stranger. In the past few months there have been reports of a guy in a jetpack dangerously close to LAX.

The FBI and FAA have been investigating this, and if the person were caught, they could be looking at some serious punishment. It’s a mystery how he has gotten away with this.

Now someone has been spotted in a jetpack over the Pacific Ocean not far from LAX, at a high altitude and high speed. While there’s no guarantee this is the same person who was near LAX, it sure seems like it could be.

What do you make of this situation, and the jetpack spotted on video?

  1. We still have a long way to go. We assume it was a “guy”, not having any evidence what gender this individual identifies as.

  2. Thank you for making me laugh so much Derek and Lucky, thanks for the super blog but I’m finding more and more that your ‘comments’ section is fast becoming my guilty pleasure – such great work by so many and at times, such mesmerising car crash; I can’t not look x

  3. Certainly looks like someone flying a jetpack. That is pretty awesome, but the dude needs to stop flying near major international airports. Seems like a good way to end up in jail or with a hefty fine and/or confiscated jetpack.

  4. That’s footage of either a real-life superhero origin story or a Darwin Award about to happen. Not sure which.

  5. @JM I know Zamperini. That’s torrance.

    Anyways who cars about fly guy ? Worst case scenario he will be a bird strike ? I don’t see rocket man as a threat or catalyst to an aviation disaster. However , they should be required licensing. You need to pay to play.

  6. Sorry to ruin the fun, but this was a drone outfitted with a life-sized foam mannequin. One of the longest running hoaxes of 2020.

  7. Its not Elon Musk. This hasnt blown up obviously. And it uses something that actually produces positive trust. So rule out this thing using cold gas thrusters…

  8. Tom: about 3 feet.
    Its a drone. No distortions from exhaust heat. (Jetpacks typically burn hydrazine and have fight duration under a minute) Way too fast forward motion, to have the mass of a man and pack.
    A drone and dummy can be as light as 10 lbs.
    Someones having a good laugh with this prank but will be in jail if caught. If this was sucked into an airline powerplant the jet will likely crash (unless Sullys flying) since theres not much time to react at low altitude.

  9. Last year it was drones flying over the flyover states. We still don’t have an answer for any of that/those. I wouldn’t expect to find out anything about this drone any time soon either.

  10. The individual could easily have several electric turbines carrying several sets of lipo batteries, fill a pressure suit up full of helium to reduce weight and presto jet powered floating person(no need to be gender biased, this is 2020 after all)

  11. They should get a military aircraft to shoot it down. Then we will know for sure. Could very well be a Chinese military guy. I think it’s a modified drone.

  12. I’ve seen this thing in Torrance a few months ago. My friend who was driving couldn’t see it and didn’t believe me, but I knew what I saw. It was hovering above the business park on 182nd Street and Crenshaw Blvd and it looked like it landed there

    I don’t know if it could possibly be a jet pack though if it was flying back over water and they only have a limited range.

    Curiouser and curiouser…

  13. One guy mentioned that the person with the Jetpack would need to be dropped from an airplane first at that altitude, well he was half right, actually I am the Jetpack guy and I am dropped from an airplane but I am also teathered to a nylon cable which is virtually invisible close up and invisible from a distance, that is why I am able to fly at that altitude and at that speed, the nylon cable is 1000 ft long and I use the entire length, so there you have it, mystery solved, yours truly Jetpack Jack

  14. I think we’re focusing on the wrong issue with this article. I think the focus of this story should be the pilot. I mean, shouldn’t he be flying the plane, rather than planes amateur cinematographer? I would think being airborne (with who knows how many human lives in my hands), is probably not the time to be rethinking my career choice. The title of the article could read “Bored Airline Pilot Makes Home Movies Instead of Flying Plane”…

  15. This is a helium-filled balloon, nothing more. Jetpacks have difficulty flying at that altitude and for those time frames. Drones have almost as much difficulty with the altitude and range. A helium-filled jetpack-shaped balloon is the simplest and easiest answer to this “mystery”. For $20 and a tank of helium, you could create dozens of sightings of a “jetpack” in the area. With the relative velocity of the observer, it could also seem like they are “flying” and of significant mass.

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