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:
- In late August an American Airlines pilot reported seeing “a guy in a jetpack,” and this is something that was corroborated by another pilot
- Then in mid-October a China Airlines pilot reported seeing a guy in a jetpack as well while on approach, though he didn’t say it with quite as much certainty
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
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?