The entrance to Los Angeles International Airport. Photo by Phil Whitehouse/Flickr.

Did a Guy in a Jetpack Fly Above LAX?

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In a break from doom and gloom news, we’ve got rumors of “a guy in a jetpack” soaring 3,000 feet in the air near LAX. Is this true? If so, who is this mysterious aviator? Is it the Mandalorian? The FAA and the FBI are both on the case. 

The jetpack-clad man was spotted by not one, but two pilots on Sunday. An American Airlines pilot told air traffic control, “We just passed a guy in a jetpack” as he approached LAX at about 6:30 p.m., according to NBC Los Angeles. The pilot said the man was on the left side of the plane “at our altitude.”

A Southwest Airlines pilot also reported a person in a jetpack at about the same time.

The FAA and the FBI have launched an investigation to figure out exactly what this whole thing is about. If someone was operating a jetpack, they wouldn’t necessarily need a license to fly it, according to the L.A. Times. But they wouldn’t be allowed to fly it in a controlled airspace, such as near LAX, without FAA approval, nor could they fly it in the evening or at night.

The Times also spoke with David Mayman, CEO of JetPack Aviation Corp. in Van Nuys. They make jetpacks, and they look pretty cool. You can see them in action on YouTube. They’ve flown them in locations including New York and Abu Dhabi.

However, Mayman said that they weren’t flying near LAX that day and that they wouldn’t sell or loan out their five jetpacks. They do offer flying lessons, but students would be tethered to a wire.

Mayman told Mashable that they are also trying to figure out what happened. He said a jetpack that could reach that altitude would be rare and impossible to land without a parachute. Mayman said he is unaware of any reported parachute landings in the area and that a more likely explanation could be “some sort of drone with a mannequin in it, maybe.”

Los Angeleno