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Low-flying planes cause New York City scare

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by ConcordCowboy, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. ConcordCowboy

    ConcordCowboy Mr. Buckeye

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    Low-flying planes cause New York City scare

    White House official apologizes after thousands flee buildings in panic

    In this image taken with a cell phone, a Boeing 747 flies low over New York Harbor on Monday morning, followed by an F-16 chase plane.

    NEW YORK - One of the president's official planes and a supersonic fighter jet zoomed past the lower Manhattan skyline in a flash just as the work day was beginning Monday. Within minutes, startled financial workers streamed out of their offices, fearing a nightmarish replay of Sept. 11.

    For a half-hour, the Boeing 747 and F-16 jet circled the Statue of Liberty and the lower Manhattan skyline near the World Trade Center site. Offices evacuated. Dispatchers were inundated with calls. Witnesses thought the planes were flying dangerously low.

    But the flyover was nothing but a photo op, apparently one of a series of flights to get pictures of the plane in front of national landmarks.

    It was carried out by the Defense Department with little warning, infuriating New York officials and putting the White House on the defense. Even Mayor Michael Bloomberg didn't know about it, and he later called it "insensitive" to fly so near the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

    The director of the White House military office, Louis Caldera, took the blame a few hours later. One of the planes was a 747 that is called Air Force One when used by the president.

    "Last week, I approved a mission over New York. I take responsibility for that decision," Caldera said. "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."

    When told of the flight, President Barack Obama was furious, a White House official said on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.

    Liberty photo op

    Still, federal officials provided few details and wouldn't say why the public and area building security managers weren't notified. They also wouldn't address why someone thought it was a wise decision to send two jets into New York City, all for a few photos with the Statue of Liberty as a backdrop.

    An administration official said the purpose of the photo op was to update file photos of the president's plane near the Lady Liberty.

    This official said the White House military office told the Federal Aviation Administration that it was updating file photos of Air Force One near national landmarks, such as the statute in the New York harbor and the Grand Canyon. The official requested anonymity to give more details than the official White House announcement.

    An Air Force combat photographer took pictures from one of the fighter jets, administration officials said.

    The photo op was combined with a training exercise to save money, according to another administration official who also spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak publicly about the behind-the-scenes discussions about the flight.

    The FAA notified the New York Police Department of the flyover, telling them photos of the Air Force One jet would be taken about 1,500 feet above the Statue of Liberty around 10 a.m. Monday. It had a classified footnote that said "information in this document shall not be released to the public or the media."

    "Why the Defense Department wanted to do a photo op right around the site of the World Trade Center catastrophe defies the imagination," Bloomberg said. "Poor judgment would be a nice ways to phrase it. ... Had I known about it, I would have called them right away and asked them not to."

    Mayor not told

    NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said typically a flight like this would be publicized to avoid causing a panic, but they were under orders not to in this case. They regularly get requests for flyovers, but without secrecy restrictions.

    The FAA also alerted an official in the mayor's office, but he didn't tell Bloomberg, who said he first learned about it when his "BlackBerry went off crazy with people complaining about it."

    The Bloomberg official who was notified was Marc Marc Mugnos, director of operations for the Office of Citywide Event Coordination and Management. Mugnos didn't immediately respond to questions about why he didn't tell the mayor; Bloomberg's spokesman Stu Loeser issued a statement saying: "He has been reprimanded and a disciplinary letter has placed in his file."

    Workers in lower Manhattan were stunned by what they saw.

    John Leitner, a floor trader at the New York Mercantile Exchange Building, said about 1,000 people "went into a total panic" and ran out of the building around 10 a.m. after seeing the planes whiz nearby.

    "We were informed after we cleared out of there," Leitner said. "I kind of think heads should roll a little bit on that."

    Schumer: "No need to scare'

    Employees of the Wall Street Journal also left their desks to see what was going on.

    Kathleen Seagriff, a staff assistant, said workers heard the roar of the engines and then saw the planes from their windows.

    "They went down the Hudson, turned around and came back by the building," she said. "It was a scary scene, especially for those of us who were there on 9/11."

    Air Force spokesman Vince King said the "photo mission" involved one of two VC-25 aircraft. The aircraft is part of the Presidential Airlift Wing, based at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.

    The F-16 jet that flew alongside came from the D.C. National Guard's 113th fighter wing.

    "This was a photo shoot. There was no need for surprise," Sen. Charles Schumer said. "There was no need to scare thousands of New Yorkers who still have the vivid memory of 9/11."

    In this image taken with a cell phone, a Boeing 747 flies low over New York Harbor on Monday morning, followed by an F-16 chase plane.

    In this image taken with a cell phone, a Boeing 747 flies low over New York Harbor on Monday morning, followed by an F-16 chase plane.

  2. CowboyPrincess

    CowboyPrincess Priceless

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    Of all the stupid lame brain things to do. They are just to damn stupid to even consider what that would do to the people in that city that had lived through the most horrific acts on U.S soil. Or they just didn't care. Stupid, Stupid, Stupid

    And why during this time of economic crisis, are they so damn concerned about updating photo's of Air Force One in front of national monuments?? I guess they think the tax payers have the money to waste on this little ego trip of theirs and having those photo's be from Obama's time in office.

    I hope he was more than just furious. Head's should roll over this enormously STUPID act by those idiots.

    I'm sure those people in NYC went to bed last night shaking and had nightmare flashes of that horrible day...
  3. DIAF

    DIAF DivaLover159

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    Wow. That's a little too much anger for a hastily-scheduled flyover.

    Oh, wait. That's why. Nevermind.
  4. JBond

    JBond Well-Known Member

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    I guess you don't understand the reason this is an issue.

    A reminder for you.



  5. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    It is a bit ridiculous.
    How hasty can a fly over be? Faster than a simple phone call to let New York authorities know this was going to happen? It takes more time to prep a plane for takeoff than it does to make a phone call.

    Plenty here have vivid memories of that day, and this is a pretty ****ty thing to do.
  6. ologan

    ologan Well-Known Member

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    Too many people HAVE forgotten,JBond.
  7. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    gotta wonder sometimes- is it just a bad memory or is it a convienent memory?
  8. CowboyPrincess

    CowboyPrincess Priceless

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    Or maybe it's because I lost friends there. And a friend of mine in Jersey told me how much it scared her yesterday when I talked to her this morning.

    I would have blasted anyone that did this

    Go re-read my post.. where did I blame Obama. The only reference I made to him was the idiots that were worried about the photo op being during his admnin and that I hoped that he was more than just furious and that heads should roll... I don't see where I called Obama on the carpet for it. I read the article, saw who took blame and blasted them..

    Your getting slow in your old age DIAF.. you aren't even paying attention to what I write anymore, just looking for the word Obama

    Again.. I've got a lot of anger over this cuz on Sept. 10, 2001 I talked to a friend of mine that worked in the WTC and on Sept 11, 2001 they were dead. This was a stupid thing to do without letting the public know.. they witnessed the horror, lived through it and lost loved ones in that horror.

    I stand by what I said.. this was a lame *** stupid damn thing to do
  9. ConcordCowboy

    ConcordCowboy Mr. Buckeye

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    My wife and I were just at Ground Zero three weeks ago and while there, there was a low flying Prop plane and we both said to each other...that looks weird...and obviously talked about 9/11.

    To do this without making sure EVERYONE knew about it, is just **** all stupid.
  10. Danny White

    Danny White Winter is Coming

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    And it's a waste of money.

    Honestly, they probably could have gotten much better results just by photoshopping a few pics of Air Force one with the landmarks in the background. I could probably do it myself and I'm just average at photoshopping.
  11. TheCount

    TheCount Pixel Pusher

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    I've lived in NY City for over 15 years and it didn't seem to be an issue for much of anyone around here as far as how it affected our day or our recollection of 9/11.

    We'd probably also appreciate it if people wouldn't use it to fuel their agenda and petty bickering.

    Since 9/11, we've seen quite a few planes get closer than expected (including at least two plane crashes), had explosions from burst pipes in the sewer, crane collapses, strange smells in the air that were later traced to industrial plants, movies shot that involved people in military outfits, attack helicopters surrounding the bridges and so on and every time it happens the media plays the 9/11 card like we're all standing on edge waiting for the next disaster. I think we deserve a little more credit than that.

    The only failure here is the inability of the city to notify people that it was going to happen, but the city officials are such bumbling buffoons, I don't even think that surprised anyone.
  12. Rackat

    Rackat Active Member

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    I was wondering who the sokesperson was for all of NYC. Can you kindly tell the loud mouth NYFG player that our draft was not the worst. Since you are the spokesperson and obviously have contact with all NY'ers that should not be a problem. On the other hand, you are probably only speaking for yourself and how you believe every NY'er feels, so nevermind.
  13. CowboyPrincess

    CowboyPrincess Priceless

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    I can understand what you are saying, but I don't think this is about any agenda. I think it's about the reaction we saw on tv to what happened yesterday. People running into the streets screaming and buildings being evacuated. The look of fright on their faces...So apparently it did effect people adversely and scare the crap out of them

    Stupid stupid stupid

    And like DW said.. They could have gotten the same results with photo shop for cheap and without causing hysteria for some
  14. WarC

    WarC Active Member

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    Just another example of how disconnected our nifty pseudo-aristocracy is with the common people. Dumb as all hell.

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    Heck, the cost associated with this thing, alone, makes it unbelievably stupid. I really can't see an excuse for this myself but hey, if you want to say that I'm finding issue with this because I'm Conservative, that's fine with me. It's true so please go right ahead.
  16. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    One has to wonder just what Chuck Shumers agenda is...

    "This was a photo shoot. There was no need for surprise," Sen. Charles Schumer said. "There was no need to scare thousands of New Yorkers who still have the vivid memory of 9/11."

    Or the people who had to be evacuated for that matter.
  17. JBond

    JBond Well-Known Member

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    I lived in New Jersey for years and spent a lot of time in NYC, but that does not qualify me to comment. What may qualify me is having lost friends and business partners in the North tower.
  18. Rogah

    Rogah Well-Known Member

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    This is a silly post. Nobody can possibly represent and speak for every single New Yorker, nor does anyone in here seem to be making that claim.

    But the undeniable fact of the matter is that many New Yorkers were very upset with what happened yesterday. So, IMHO, your sarcasm doesn't really hit the mark.
  19. masomenos

    masomenos Less is more

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    Epic Fail.
  20. DIAF

    DIAF DivaLover159

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    To the usual suspects (JBond and Burm):

    No, really? A couple of airliners flown by terrorists brought down the WTC? Wow, I had all but forgotten. <sarcasm off>

    So yeah, someone should have let the mayors office know, at least. But I think CPs level of outrage was just a tad suspect, especially since she went out of her way to mention OBAMA in her post when this very likely had little to nothing to do with him as this was a Dept. of Defense deal. I think TheCount hit it right on the head with his comment about using it for fuel for petty bickering.

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