April 28, 2009

Air Force One photo op startles NYC residents

Per The New York Times, the White House has apologized for a breakdown in communication that led to the president's backup plane flying low over parts of New York City Monday morning accompanied by fighter jets, frightening city residents who had lived through the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The Air Force One lookalike was to fly over New York Harbor so Air Force photographers could take promotional photos. But the exercise took place without any notification to the public, leading to momentary panic, per the Times.

Here's a look back at what New York City Twitterers were saying during the scare, beginning with the apparent first tweet on the incident.

  1. louis david goldfein
    lgoldfein Mandatory evacuation nymex, no joke. People running
  2. Alex Kelston
    AKelso20 Just saw a jumbojet fly near lower manhattan and a fighter jet too. Ppl are scared and leaving the building. No official evacuation.
  3. stephanie judge
    stepliana A plane that may or may not be Air Force One was flying waaay too close to my building just now. http://twitpic.com/43msu
  4. Alex Kelston
    AKelso20 We're evacuatijng 1 New York Plaza due to a low flying jet. Heading to evacuation point. Thankful for darker training once deemed useless
  5. Andrew McOrmond
    andrewm1 evacuations of world financial center, but no reasons given
  6. Unity Stoakes
    unitystoakes None of the NY news channels have any news on Jersey City evacuation...but Twitter breaks it again.
  7. Tara Hagan
    tarahagan emergency evacuations in downtown due to low flying plane
  8. Leland
    lelander Panicky Petes evacuate 1ny plaza after a plane flies by. Look at all those blue shirts! http://twitpic.com/43oa6

Twitterers around the U.S. expressed astonishment at the incident.

  1. Anna Schmidt
    Cerriwin (St. Louis, Mo.) when flying a plane low over new york flanked by f-16s, you might let the public, or, i don't know, the MAYOR, know its just for a photo op.
  2. Jeff Curry
    whothehellru (Undisclosed) What kind of idiot sets up a plane with 2 f-16s trailing it to fly over New York. Had to bring back horrible memories for alot of people.
  3. Jeff Tyson
    jt_morphn (San Jose, Calif.) What the hell were they thinking flying that plane for a photo op. Keep strong New York... So concur with mr Stewart...daily show tonight
  4. Aaron Chan
    pigeonman99 (San Francisco, Calif.) having F-16s chasing president's backup plane above New York City for a photo shoot?? one of the most stupid policies i've ever seen lol!

For more information, the INDenverTimes provided a roundup of stories on the incident, complete with photos.

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