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Is Iron Man out there flying around LA? Anyone got eyes on Robert Downey Jr.? Well, according to a commercial pilot, while flying into LAX, he saw something flying around LA airspace that looked like the Marvel superhero. Although we seem to be obsessed with the idea of flying cars, jetpacks seem to be taking off quicker. However, until Porsche makes a jetpack, car nerds will never fully care.

upclose photo of someone dressed up as Iron Man.
Iron Man Costume | Ollie Millington/Getty Images

Was Iron Man seen flying around LA?

This isn’t the first time the Marvel world has attempted to collide with ours. After all, the 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor got some styling cues from Iron Man. Although it seems unlikely, the FBI took the report seriously enough to investigate. Of course, the FBI isn’t looking for Tony Stark, but there have been reports of people flying jetpacks in restricted airspace before.

The LA Times reported that the Boeing 747 pilot called in “a possible jetpack man insight” about a month ago, according to a recording from the website LiveATC.

As we can imagine, the pilot was confused at what he saw or thought he saw. The pilot claims that the thing resembling Iron Man must have been at least 15 miles away from LAX when he saw it. To make things even crazier, the pilot estimates Iron Man was somewhere around the 5,000-ft elevation mark. a Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson told the newspaper, “Out of an abundance of caution, air traffic controllers alerted other pilots in the vicinity.”

This isn’t the first time rouge jet packers have been spotted

a man testing a jetpack.
Jetpack demonstration at Goodwood Hill | Michael Cole/Corbis via Getty Images

When the flying man was spotted and reported, an air traffic controller said, “Use caution, the jetpack guy is back.” to alert the other pilots in the area. Another air traffic controller asked the pilot if he was reporting a “UFO.” 

As the air traffic controller’s response indicates, this “jetpack guy” has been seen before. At least, we are assuming there is only one. 

The LA Times reports that a video was released in December of 2020 showing what seemed to be a person flying a jetpack. The video was taken by passengers on an instructional flight out of the Torrance airport. Meanwhile, the FBI was already investigating two possible jetpack sightings near LAX from August and October of that year.

Can you buy a Jetpack? 

Although the sightings are from multiple credible pilots, Jetpack experts struggle to believe the claim’s validity. 

For one, these experts claim that getting a jetpack is pretty difficult. Not only are they extremely expensive, but they’re also just aren’t many of them around. Secondly, someone would struggle to fly to 5,000 ft with a jetpack due to the amount of fuel one would need for such a flight. 

While most of us have seen pretty impressive videos of jetpacks on the internet, this fuel thing is a pretty good point. 

We tend to see something like Iron Man on the TV and, after long enough, can forget what is actually possible. We aren’t arguing that the Iron Man imposter isn’t real, but jetpack technology doesn’t appear to be able to do what the pilot claims he saw. 

Of course, officials say that it is possible that the pilots misidentified a weather balloon or some other drifting object. They always have to ruin the fun with the ol’ weather balloon trick. Don’t they? 


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