An air traffic controller who had the unusual job of disseminating the news that a guy in a jetpack was crowding the skies Sunday had one observation: “Only in L.A.”
On the weekend, two separate pilots flying American Airlines and Southwest Airlines planes said they’d spotted someone flying a jetpack as they approached LAX, NBC Los Angeles reports.
“Tower, American 1997. We just passed a guy in a jetpack,” one pilot reportedly said. The pilot then added that the individual was flying about 300 yards away — at the plane’s same altitude of 3,000 feet.
“Tower, we just saw the guy pass by us,” the Southwest pilot said.
While it seems unwise for a human to go airborne right alongside some airplanes, it’s not impossible. One jetpack company, JetPack Aviation, is based in Moorpark — which is just an hour north west of LAX.
The company has two jetpacks and one “recreational speeder” which are supposedly capable of reaching 15,000 feet. In addition to providing tethered jetpack experiences for customers at its Moorpark location, it has conducted flights around the world — including in Los Angeles.
Mashable has reached out to JetPack Aviation to ask if they’re behind the flight, and if so just what the heck they think they were doing.
Then again, Elon Musk’s SpaceX is based in Hawthorne, which is just South of LAX. SpaceX doesn’t have a jetpack, but we wouldn’t put a rogue test flight past Elon.