Is anyone really flying around the locks in a jet pack?

29 on August was Saturday night at the control tower of Los Angeles International Airport, when an American Airlines pilot made an unreliable report.

“Tower, American 1997. We just passed one person through a pack,” the pilot said.

Minutes later, another pilot approaching LALX in a Jet Blue airliner confirmed the sighting: “We just saw the guy pass us by.”

So began one of the most fascinating aviation mysteries faced over the years in Los Angeles.

And the case came to a head on Wednesday when a China Airlines pilot approached LAX, reporting that the jet pack was flying 6,000 feet above the ground.

The FBI is on the case, as is a good part of LA’s aviation community, which is buzzing with the scene.

Although jet packs are frequently seen in movies and other popular cultures, they are actually very rare.

Only a handful of companies around the world make jet packs, including a winged device made by former Swiss Air Force pilot Yves Rossi, which needs to be hoisted into the air before it can be flown by helicopter or balloon. There is also a type of hoverboard made by the French company Zapata and flown by its inventor Frankie Zapata.

Locally, five jet packs have been made by Chatsworth-based JetPK Aviation that are worn like backpacks. But they are not for sale, and chief executive David Memon said none of its competitors’ products are sold to consumers.

It is possible that a closer look at the LALX on Wednesday was actually a man flying with a jet pack. But the height at which the person is said to have flown seems “extremely unlikely,” said Mike Hirsberg, executive director of the Vertical Flight Society, a for-profit business organization.

Myman said his company’s jet packs are technically capable of reaching an altitude of 15,000 feet. But because of the fuel barriers, they can actually reach about 1000 or 1,500 feet safely from the ground.

“To fly 1,000 feet above the ground, fly as long as can be seen by China Airlines and then land again, you will run out of fuel,” he said.

Mayman said he knows it’s not his company’s jet pack, because he knows where they are – plus, they’re disabled when not in use, so it won’t be possible to grab the pack from the collection.

Instead, he thinks the watch could be an electric drone – maybe a male attached.

Thomas Anthony, director of the USC Aviation Safety and Security Program and a former Federal Aviation Administration criminal investigator, said the LALX sight is a jet-packed person – as opposed to a balloon or drone Reported looking at.

The pilot said he saw “a man in a jet pack” flying at 300 yards to his left and the plane’s itude.

“It’s fairly close,” Anthony said.

He said federal investigators immediately identified the U.S. And will focus on the limited number of jet packs that exist abroad.

“People in that community will know who bought these packs.” “If someone is doing this, they have to get out of there and get out somewhere, and there’s going to be noise.”

Anthony said he suspected the culprit was using the airport to evacuate and said investigators should look to industrial sites for clues. The FBI indicated that the jet was flying in a section of Southeast Los Angeles County near Kudai and Vernon, which is involved in commercial and manufacturing business.

Anthony added that the flying range of the jet pack is very limited, so it is unlikely to travel any great distances.

Following a report by a China Airlines pilot on Wednesday, the LAX control tower called for an investigation into the law enforcement plane.

The pilot said he saw the jetpack from where the plane was flying about seven miles, according to Radio Communications.

But there were no traces of jet packs when the craft arrived.

The jet pack can be operated as an ultralight – meaning that according to the FAA, if it is not registered and its operator does not require a pilot’s license, if it meets the fuel capacity, weight and speed requirements. Ultralight aircraft are only allowed to fly during the day and are prohibited from flying in densely populated areas or in controlled aerospace without FAA approval.

Anthony and others say the FBI should investigate the sights for security reasons.

“This represents a very significant settlement of the airspace,” he said.

If a rogue pilot had flown at 6,000 feet without a transponder or radio, Anthony said he would have taken it on the route of a commercial airline maneuvering to Los Angeles.

The airliners are designed to withstand blows by small by-budgets. But if a metal object object – especially one containing a fuel, such as a jet pack – is to be pulled into an aircraft engine, it can lead to an explosion.

“Engines aren’t built to consume anything large and metallic, or fuel that burns or explodes,” Hirschberg said. “It simply came to our notice then. You could possibly explode the engine and bring the pilot down and potentially kill hundreds. ”

So have jet packs really been reported near LX?

Some experts say it’s possible.

Jetman pilot Vince Raft launched himself at 1,800 meters in Dubai on Friday, February 14th.

In February, a pilot in Dubai reached an altitude of 5,900 feet, flying a Jetman jet pack powered by four mini-jet engines with carbon fiber wings. The builders of the pack say it can reach speeds of about 250 miles per hour. After a number of diving and roll maneuvers, the Dubai pilot landed on the ground using a parachute.

Others, however, are more skeptical. Hirschberg said the device seen near the LALX could be a balloon, especially since the pilot of China Airlines noted that the flying object project was fun.

Or it could be a drone, he said. In recent years, some airports have had to suspend flights after seeing drones. In 2018, London’s Gatwick Airport has been closed for more than a day After repeated drone sightings.

U.S. In, recreational users are not allowed to fly their drones over feet0000 feet, people cannot fly over or move vehicles and crews are prohibited from interfering with the aircraft.

The FBI has so far spoken out against the investigation.

But when the mystery began late August night, the air traffic controller summed up the sentiments of many: “Only L.A. In ”