Raw video footage
The White House apologized, New York City's mayor was "furious" (so is president Obama) (CNN), and Manhattanites got quite a break from routine today.
(from CNN, used w/o permission)
People working in New York City's skyscrapers saw a large airliner flying low - obviously not in normal flight corridors - and being escorted, or maybe chased, by F-16 fighters. Many New Yorkers, remembering what happened on September 11, 2001, and wanting to see April 28, 2009, started heading for ground level.
The flight of the VC-25, a military version of the Boeing 747 that's called Air Force One when the President's on board, was cleared through the FAA: No problems there. And the New York City police knew about the flight.
According to New York's finest, they were supposed to keep mum about the flight. Makes sense, considering how sensitive the exact location of that particular aircraft is, whether the president's on it or not.
The police say they didn't tell anyone about the flight, because they were told not to: "...'The flight of a VC-25 aircraft and F-16 fighters this morning was authorized by the FAA for the vicinity of the Statue of Liberty with directives to local authorities not to disclose information about it but to direct any inquiries to the FAA Air Traffic Security Coordinator,' the statement said...." (FOX News)
This Was a Pretty Good Air Raid DrillPutting a positive light on this, I think this morning's little incident can be seen as a test of New York City's readiness for the next attack.
The impromptu mock attack demonstrated that New Yorkers know how to react to an attack: even if authorities don't tell them what to do.
The VC-25 / F-16 flight's mission was to update stock photos.
Vaguely related posts:
- "Holiday Attack on New York City Planned - Maybe"
(November 27, 2008)
- "9/11 Memorials: 2008"
(September 11, 2008)
- "The Noble Thief of Brooklyn"
(July 5, 2008)
- "Times Square Bombing: 'We Did It' Didn't"
(March 7, 2008)
- "Empire State Building Shines Green for Eid"
(October 13, 2007)
- "White House apologizes for low-flying plane"
CNN (April 27, 2009)
- "White House Official Apologizes for Air Force One Photo Op in New York City"
FOX News (April 27, 2009)
Update (April 28, 2009)
"Raw: Low Flying Military Planes Cause Panic Near Statue of Liberty"
LETHLSS, YouTube (April 27, 2009)
Thanks to bnsullivan, on Twitter, for the URL.