An Air Force One look-alike flew low over Manhattan and parts of Jersey City this morning, accompanied by two F-16 fighters. The flyover rattled New Yorkers and Jersey City residents, and led to the evacuation of several buildings in Lower Manhattan and Jersey City.
New Yorkers are a little bit sensitive to low-flying jet planes in their airspace. Remember a little incident called 9/11? So when a large, low-flying jet flew over their skyline accompanied by two fighter jets on Monday morning, needless to say, many phoned emergency services and evacuated their buildings.
Fortunately, this was not some sort of attack, but an unbelievably boneheaded move by the FAA, Defense Department, the White House Military Office, and local authorities to create a photo opportunity for the VC-25 jet and the two F-16 fighters. Apparently, photos of the jets as they fly over the New York area will be used to update file photos of Air Force One.
Did the authorities need to keep this a secret from the public? A simple warning might have prevented rampant fear in New York and New Jersey this morning.
As reported by the New York Times, many buildings in lower Manhattan were evacuated as residents saw a low-flying jet approach.
In One Liberty Plaza, which is close to the 9/11 attack site, workers simply started to run out of their buildings without any instructions because the planes appeared to be flying toward them.
Louis Caldera, director of the White House Military Office, has since apologized for the photo shoot and has taken full responsibility. This is an error in judgment of such magnitude and embarrassment to Obama that he will likely have no choice but to fire Caldera.
Really. This is mind-boggling. How did several layers of government allow this to happen without warning the public? What’s next? Will they send armed gunmen into Columbine High School during school hours for a TV show? Will they send trucks loaded with fake bombs into Oklahoma City during rush hour for a photo-op?
Think things through, please.
(BTW, I guarantee you half of New York will file a class action lawsuit against the government claiming that they suffered severe emotional distress from the incident).
See video of the planes below: