Alarmed pilot tells LAX tower: ‘We just passed a guy in a jet pack’; FBI now investigating

A jet comes in for a landing at Los Angeles International Airport.
A jet comes in for a landing at Los Angeles International Airport.
(David McNew / Getty Images)

The FBI has launched an investigation after an American Airlines pilot said he saw what appeared to be a man flying with a jet pack Sunday night near Los Angeles International Airport.

“Tower, American 1997. We just passed a guy in a jet pack,” the first American Airlines pilot states in a call to the control tower.

“American 1997, OK, thank you. Were they off to your left or right side?” the tower operator answers.


“Off the left side, maybe 300 yards or so, about our altitude,” the pilot responds.

Someone with a jet pack really could have been soaring above Los Angeles International Airport over the weekend, giving pilots a scare.

Sept. 2, 2020

“We just saw the guy pass us by in the jet pack,” a second pilot from Jet Blue Airways then tells the tower, which warned another pilot about the sighting.

“Only in L.A.,” the air traffic controller says at one point.

FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said Tuesday that agents at LAX were investigating after the pilot reported the incident to the control tower.

“The FBI is aware of the reports by pilots on Sunday and is working to determine what occurred,” the agency said in a statement.

The Federal Aviation Administration also confirmed receiving the report. “Two airline flight crews reported seeing what appeared to be someone in a jet pack as they were on their final approach to LAX around 6:35 p.m. Sunday,” spokesman Ian Gregor told City News Service. “The FAA alerted local law enforcement to the reports and is looking into these reports.”