Second sighting of person wearing a jet pack near LAX prompts new investigation

A passenger jet on approach low above lights at Los Angeles International Airport
LAX has reported sighting a person wearing a jet pack in a flight path. A similar report was made a month ago.
(David McNew / Getty Images)

Los Angeles International Airport officials are investigating reports of someone wearing a jet pack in the flight path, the second such report in a little over a month.

An air traffic controller overseeing airline approaches warned a commercial pilot who was set up to land that an individual wearing a jet pack had been reported flying at about 6,500 feet.

For the record:

7:59 a.m. Oct. 16, 2020This article incorrectly states that an earlier sighting of a jet pack at Los Angeles International Airport occurred Aug. 29. The sighting occurred Aug. 30, according to two pilots who reported the event to the LAX air traffic control tower.

A China Airlines crew member reported seeing what appeared to be someone in a jet pack roughly seven miles northwest of the airport about 1:45 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA alerted local law enforcement and is investigating the report.


The FBI is also investigating the sighting, according to sources familiar with the probe. In addition, federal officials are investigating an earlier incident in which two commercial pilots said they saw a man in a jet pack flying around the eastern approach to LAX six weeks ago.

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

In the Aug. 29 incident, the control tower at LAX received reports about the jet pack around 6:45 p.m.

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

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

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

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

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