Several buildings in lower Manhattan were evacuated this morning after a jumbo airliner tailed by fighter jets flew frighteningly close to the skyline. Turns out, it was a photo op for Air Force One. Via the Staten Island Advance:
A plane, that appears to be a commercial jet tailed by fighter jets, is a “pre-planned” military flight taking photos of the Statue of Liberty, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Reports from some eyewitnesses indicate it may be Air Force One. “It is pre-planned, pre-coordinated with everyone involved,” said FAA spokesman Jim Peters. “It’s a military flight over New York to take photos.” Several lower Manhattan buildings were evacuated as a precaution. Peters, who stressed it is not an emergency, said the flight is circling the Statue of Liberty and New York City to take photos. Peters said city officials as well as state government agencies in New York and New Jersey were briefed on the flight in advance. Numerous people have called the Advance newsroom worried after seeing the low-flying plane on the North Shore.
Gothamist reports receiving this news wire bulletin: “AUTHORIZED FLY-OVER OF THE STATUE OF LIBERTY BY AIR FORCE ONE FOR A PHOTO SHOOT. THE PRESIDENT WAS *NOT* ON BOARD.”
So if all these government agencies knew the fly-over was coming, why couldn’t they let the folks downtown know about it instead of sending them fleeing from their offices? Incredibly cruel.
UPDATE: Commenter Aaron points us this video taken during the fly-over.