RANCHO PALOS VERDES, Calif. — It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s "Jetpack Man"?
Pilot Brandy Fogelman said she still can’t be 100% sure, but as she was flying off the coast of Rancho Palos Verdes, she saw an object that she can only describe as a man in a jet pack flying through the air.
Fogelman prepared for the Monday flight like she did every other, but never expected what she'd see that day. The pilot is a flight instructor for a Torrance-based flight school called Sling Pilot Academy. She took off from the hangar with a student named Travis, who was learning commercial maneuvers during the flight Monday afternoon.
Fogelman is used to constantly being on the lookout in the Los Angeles skies, but an object unlike any other caught her eye on this flight.
“I’m always looking for traffic, all the time while we’re out here," she said. "So I thought it was an airplane, and as we got closer, it was too small to be an airplane. So then I thought, maybe drone, maybe balloons? But as we got closer, it just looked more and more like the 'Jetpack Man.'"
Naturally, Fogelman grabbed her phone and started recording a video of the flying object from about half a mile away. They were flying right above Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes. Fogelman had heard the reported sightings of an object that looked like a man flying in a jet pack near LAX.
They were careful not to get too close, but in the video it's apparent how fast the flying object traveled. It appears one minute and is gone the next.
"Tried to get some video," Fogelman said. "Had Travis circle around. It was quite exciting.”
There have been at least three local sightings of what appears to be a man wearing a jet pack flying in the air in since August. The FBI and FAA said they are investigating because of the threat this could pose to aircrafts.
It’s not clear in the video Fogelman took if the object is a person or a drone, but she’s a commercial pilot with nearly 10 years under her belt and said she’s never seen anything like it.
"It looked just like a person with legs with a backpack on," she said. "It looked just like 'Jetpack Man.'"