American Airlines pilots report “guy in a jetpack” flying next to their aircraft

Image from Wikimedia

Image from Wikimedia

In the evening of 30 August, a pilot landing an American Airlines Airbus A321 (registered N575UW) at Los Angeles Airport, United States reported a “guy in a jetpack” flying near the aircraft. At the time of the encounter, the aircraft – coming from Philadelphia – was flying at an altitude of 3,000 feet. The following communication between air traffic control (ATC) and pilot was noted:

Pilot: “Tower, American 1997, we just passed a guy in a jetpack.”

ATC: “American 1997, OK, thank you. Were they off to your left or right side?”

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

ATC then warned other approaching flights to be on the lookout for a man in a jetpack. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has launched an investigation into the (drone)-incident. LAPD was notified but say they were unable to locate anything.

Bart Noëth: Since 1996, I have been working in the Belgian airline industry, from a weekend job as a cabin aircraft cleaner to a flight attendant. After the demise of Sabena - in 2001, I created a website called, originally a meeting place for plane spotters and aviation freaks. Since 2017, the website changed into a professional news site. Next to aviation, I love to travel, wine and dine and enjoy my time off(-line) with my girlfriend, friends and family. My favourite football squad is KV Mechelen, I am an Ironman 70.3 finisher and my ambition is to complete a full Ironman.
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