Photo: A U.S. Air Force VC-25 and F-16 escort in the skies near New York on Monday morning.
A video from The Wall Street Journal reports on the secretive VC-25 (Air Force One) and F-16 flights over New York City this morning.
The FAA has said the flights were planned and that all agencies were notified. However, someone seems to have forgotten to tell the people living and working nearby, including New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The NYPD issued this statement, according to The New York Times: “The flight of a VC-25 aircraft and F-16 fighters this morning was authorized by the F.A.A. 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 F.A.A. Air Traffic Security Coordinator.”
Another video uploaded to YouTube illustrates one New York resident’s fears about the low-flying planes. “That’s not normal,” says the woman in a concerned tone. No, it’s not.
Why the secrecy? What were they thinking? My bet is that they weren’t thinking at all. Still, I’m sure the resulting photos of the jet passing by the Statue of Liberty will be very provocative for future Air Force enlistment materials. Never mind the frayed nerves and panic induced by the photo shoot, right?
Update: Late this afternoon, Louis Caldera, Director of the White House Military Office, issued the following statement:
“Last week, I approved a mission over New York. I take responsibility for that decision. While federal authorities took the proper steps to notify state and local authorities in New York and New Jersey, it’s clear that the mission created confusion and disruption. I apologize and take responsibility for any distress that flight caused.”