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Air Force One Flyby Causes Brief Panic In NYC

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the good-thinking-fellas dept.

The Military 898

pdclarry writes "A Boeing 747 that serves as an Air Force One backup and two F-16 fighters escorting it caused a brief panic among office workers at the World Financial Center in lower Manhattan this morning, as large numbers evacuated the buildings. The incident was also spurred evacuations in Jersey City across the Hudson River from Manhattan."

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We are a bunch (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27735417)

of fuckin' wussy people.

"HOLY COW! Here comes a plane flying near our wonderful New York City! It looks like it is going to hit a building! We better run for it!"

Come on!

Re:We are a bunch (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27735443)

The question I have for Obama is this: Who is stimulating the economy? Me, the guy who has provided 14 people good paying jobs and serves over 200,000 people per year with a flourishing business? Or, the single fat colored mammy sitting at home pregnant with her fourth child waiting for her next welfare check?

Re:We are a bunch (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27735519)

Joe? Is that you? We know you don't actually own or plan to buy that business.

Re:We are a bunch (-1, Flamebait)

tekrat (242117) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735577)

Palin's daughter isn't that fat!!!!

Re:We are a bunch (4, Funny)

s0litaire (1205168) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735703)

Maybe it was a plan to stimulate the cleaning, underwear and toilet paper industries... I'm sure there will be a load of undies needing cleaned tonight.....

Re:We are a bunch (5, Funny)

nametaken (610866) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735507)

Alert. Unafraid citizen. Sanitize... SANITIZE!

Re:We are a bunch (2, Insightful)

jabithew (1340853) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735843)

Insightful? This and the GP? Really? How many people here would stay somewhere if they thought they were reasonably likely to die there?

There's a couple of words for a person who does that. One is 'firefighter'. The others are less noble.

I'm not an 'afraid citizen', I'm just aware that there's no reward for bearing unnecessary risk.

Re:We are a bunch (5, Insightful)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 5 years ago | (#27736055)

How many people here would stay somewhere if they thought they were reasonably likely to die there?

There are low flying planes all the time. It's not a reason to panic, and no reasonable person would believe they were likely to die there. Instead, we have unreasonable people panicing over an unreasonable fear. You're still more likely to be eaten by a shark than you are to die in another plane crashing into a building.

I Know! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27735661)

If anything, New York would be better off with 2,000 less Jews.

People should have been celebrating.

First SWINE FLU and NOW THIS!! You know what time (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27735681)

First SWINE FLU and NOW THIS!! You know what time it is, slashdot kiddies? It's time TO PANIC, that's what time it is. First problem: Nuke Mexico. Problem solved. Second problem. Who cares? It's New York City, where the ugliest people in the world congeal. Russia obviously not considered since every Russian worht his weight in vodka is one ugly puppy.

Re:We are a bunch (2, Funny)

Entropy98 (1340659) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735793)

Maybe some of those people just wanted some extra time off with pay!

Re:We are a bunch (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27735811)

It's one of the first weeks of 80+ degree weather in New York. Everyone just needed an excuse to go outside. End of story.

Re:We are a bunch (0, Flamebait)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735943)

How about an airplane flying very low around the statue of liberty, followed by two fighter jets.

Moron.

Re:We are a bunch (2, Insightful)

diskis (221264) | more than 5 years ago | (#27736067)

Yes, because we all know that terrorists like to do some sightseeing before crashing their plane.

Moron.

Put yourself in their shoes (5, Insightful)

dangle (1381879) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735959)

Unfortunately for people who experienced the collapse of the WTC towers first hand, low flying planes crashing into buildings is something that could reasonably happen, and one could argue that it is not sane to wait and see if an unusually low flying plane is actually going to crash into a building before taking steps to save one's life.

Re:We are a bunch (5, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27736001)

As someone who was in lower Manhattan the last time a jetliner flew very low... you can bet your bottom dollar I'd be out of my building and on my way home (to NJ) if I saw that.

I wasn't in much personal danger on 9/11 (merely took the Path under the WTC), but I'll tell you that it really *SUCKED* to wait in line for hours and hours to catch a ferry across the Hudson without any means to contact my family (cell service was impossible to get).

Next time that shit happens, I'm first in line at the ferry (excepting the elderly, the very young, and the preggers).

Re:We are a bunch (5, Insightful)

antibryce (124264) | more than 5 years ago | (#27736043)

it was a 747 flying at under 1,000 feet with two military escorts. If I saw that, and I worked where the bulk of the 9/11 dead are still buried I'd feel some panic as well.

It's pathetic how many on here are making fun of these people. Just to give you an idea of how low that is, 1,000 feet is roughly 1/2 the total height of the WTC twin towers.

Re:We are a bunch (5, Insightful)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27736123)

"of fuckin' wussy people."

- 3 planeloads of people let 5 men armed with hand tools take over airplanes - because that's what they've been told to do. As soon as the 4th planeload of people find out how they've been lied to, they take action and save many more lives.

- Hundreds of students cower under desks waiting be rescued from 1 man with 2 handguns, and the only person to do ANYTHING is an octogenarian who gets killed for his efforts to protect the strong, healthy, 18-22 year old "adults" hiding in fear. The most played interview is of a young man who was simply waiting to die. He is called "heroic".

- A man starts shooting in an immigrant center, and police take 45 minutes to enter the building, while people hide like scared rabbits waiting to be rescued. The police state that their response time was irrelevant - the victims would have died anyway.

Oh yes, we have reached the point where helplessness is considered noble, where former soldiers are considered security risks because the government trained them to kill, and the people whose "job" it is to protect us simply shrug their shoulders and pick up the bodies.

Wussies doesn't really cover it.

Wow.... (4, Insightful)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735425)

It's pretty terrible that we as a nation are this scared by such events.

It's amazing how much people live in fear these days.

Re:Wow.... (5, Insightful)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735533)

It's not "amazing" that people live in fear. It's REQUIRED. Anyone not living in fear is being thoroughly unpatriotic.

Remember, if you've checked the "Democrat" box, you must fear Conservatives, Pedophiles, Rednecks, and Terrorists. If you've checked the "Republican" box, you have to fear Liberals, Gays, Foreigners, and Terrorists. Either way you have to support more surveillance and less individual rights.

Face it - rational risk assessment is unAmerican in the 21st century. If you're not afraid, then you can't be bullied and herded efficiently... and we can't have that.

Re:Wow.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27735597)

If you're not afraid, then you can't be bullied and herded

I'm afraid of being bullied and herded. Does that make me patriotic, unpatriotic, or just uncooperative?

Re:Wow.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27735769)

No, it just makes you a coward.

Re:Wow.... (5, Interesting)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735655)

I didn't check either box... and the only people I'm afraid of are the people that did.

Re:Wow.... (2, Insightful)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 5 years ago | (#27736111)

Mod parent up.

The framers left a framework that could be used to keep gov't in line. But many of us cede our brains to some other person or organization, and by not thinking for ourselves we waive our chance to lodge our opinion. And we lose.

Re:Wow.... (5, Funny)

Nimey (114278) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735719)

I fear authoritarians, opportunistic politicians, and bad financial planning. Also stupid people.

Since this is Slashdot, sometimes I fear reading the article.

Re:Wow.... (1)

thenguyens2008 (1542249) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735849)

I would agree with this...it is fear many times that keeps us away from trouble...fear of snakes helps steer us away from them, etc. The world we live in is now what it was decades ago.

Re:Wow.... (2, Insightful)

sweatyboatman (457800) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735909)

rational risk assessment is unAmerican in the 21st century

errr... the last time a 747 flew low across downtown Manhattan, 3000 people died. That was 8 years ago. Statistically, these are very rare, very deadly events.

rational risk assessment would suggest evacuating tall buildings in such an event.

the evacuations and panic could have been avoided if the authorities had been permitted to notify building operators beforehand.

Re:Wow.... (4, Informative)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735997)

the last time a 747 flew low across downtown Manhattan, 3000 people died.

While I appreciate your point, fact is, there wasn't a 747 involved in 9/11.

Re:Wow.... (1)

sweatyboatman (457800) | more than 5 years ago | (#27736031)

sheesh

Re:Wow.... (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 5 years ago | (#27736125)

errr... the last time a 747 flew low across downtown Manhattan, 3000 people died. That was 8 years ago. Statistically, these are very rare, very deadly events.

Statiscially speaking you're just as likely to be eaten by a shark while in a tall building. That it happened once is not reason to think it will happen again... and statisctially speaking, you shouldn't be worried.

Re:Wow.... (0)

matlonyc (1542265) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735929)

Some people went through 9/11, survived, but are still marked for life. This can bring back memories of a traumatizing events which explains the reactions observed. Beyond that: why is it still allowed to fly over NYC? For all major cities: no fly over - period. What were those planes doing there? Taking pictures? Can't they use Photoshop?

Re:Wow.... (1)

Phoenixhawk (1188721) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735537)

It's alot of sheep over reacting. We as a society like to place blame on everything but ourselves.
Everything else is to blame...

We like pretend the world is a perfect place, and the horror and outrage of anything that shows their ignorance of the grim realities of life.

Re:Wow.... (4, Insightful)

MikeXpop (614167) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735693)

If you were in Manhattan and saw a low-flying commercial airliner tailed by two F-16s, you wouldn't blink an eyelash?

Re:Wow.... (1)

TonyZahn (534930) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735833)

I live about 15 minutes away from Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

I don't think I'd notice if a 747 landed in my front yard.

Re:Wow.... (3, Insightful)

MikeXpop (614167) | more than 5 years ago | (#27736121)

I'm a 7 minute walk from Logan International Airport. 747s do land in what is practically my front yard every day. That doesn't mean I wouldn't be alarmed at the sight of one being tailed by two F-16s when flying low over a major city. Particularly if that same section of downtown was famously attacked by two commercial airliners not even a decade ago.

Re:Wow.... (2, Insightful)

Crockerboy (611431) | more than 5 years ago | (#27736127)

I live 15 minutes from BWI too. The difference is we didn't watch 2 airliners crash into our neighbors house. Even so, I'd still be a little nervous to see a commercial airliner being trailed by fighter jets. It's not exactly an everyday occurrence.

Re:Wow.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27735919)

I wouldn't. The two main targets are gone now and what are the odds of a 2nd attack on the same city so soon? Now if you live in Chicago or such then you should be worried.

Re:Wow.... (2, Interesting)

eth1 (94901) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735939)

Probably not if it was painted like Air Force One...

Re:Wow.... (4, Insightful)

Sancho (17056) | more than 5 years ago | (#27736097)

By the time you can tell that it is/isn't Air Force One, it's probably too late.

Re:Wow.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27736069)

No, because if it the situation wasn't under control all you'd have seen would've been a long trail of smoke leading from where the F16's sidewinders impacted the jetliner, leading to the place where what was left of it hit the ground/water etc.

After 9/11, a plane that has acted in such a manner as to attract TWO F16's is either under control or a crater (or about to be...), they're just not going to let one of those things go AWoL over a major metropolitan area for any period of time anymore... The fact that the F16's were happily trailing along behind it should've been a clear enough indication to anyone able to employ basic logic that there wasn't an uncontrolled situation occuring.

As bad as it sounds, even if they have to shoot it down over the city, a jet liner crashing into the suburbs, or some tenaments, or just about ANY other urban scenario (perhaps other than a school...) would be preferable to allowing another catastrophe like the WTC debacle... I'm willing to bet that the bean counters at the Pentagon who'd be providing background intel to address a shoot/don't shoot question would arrive at the same conclusion...

-AC

Re:Wow.... (0)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735697)

It's amazing how a sense of self-preservation kicks in when you see 3000 people killed by terrorists while sitting in their offices minding their own business. While some may have overreacted, it's not foolish to be consider the possiblities and pay attention. There is a very real threat and people are justifiably concerned.

      Brett

Re:Wow.... (5, Insightful)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735949)

There is a very real threat and people are justifiably concerned.

      Brett

No there isn't. It's one of those once-in-a-lifetime events. I could be worried about an elevator car falling 20 stories and killing me in the fall, or being hit by lightning. Either of those are more likely than a repeat of 9/11. Vigilance against threat is one thing. To focus on one event to the point where it affects your work is excessive. There's no reason to worry specifically that any random jet is going to crash in to your building. That's just fearmongering.

Re:Wow.... (4, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735775)

It's pretty terrible that we as a nation are this scared by such events.

      Yes, everyone knows that the real threat is from Mooninites attempting to blow up highway overpasses around Boston...

Re:Wow.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27735803)

It's amazing how much people live in fear of their government these days.

There, fixed it for you.

Re:Wow.... (0, Redundant)

sweatyboatman (457800) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735851)

ugh. cannot... believe... modded... insightful...

do you look both ways before crossing the street?

do you check the expiration date before drinking milk?

when the fire alarm in your building goes off, do you sit there quietly, since statistically it's probably a false alarm?

in short, do you take any precautions when going about your life? are you living in FEAR!?

Re:Wow.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27736083)

Wow, just a bad post. Way to miss the point.

Re:Wow.... (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735885)

This is a perfect example of why that 30 Rock episode with the fireworks was so hilarious. Sheeple aren't that smart. It doesn't take much to startle them.

Re:Wow.... (5, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735941)

It's pretty terrible that we as a nation are this scared by such events.

It's not a nation scared by such events, it's a couple hundred thousand people who work within a few blocks of where - in case you missed it - two low-flying planes hit a prominent local building, killing several thousand and leaving a huge hole in the ground.

It's amazing how much people live in fear these days.

The entrance to the train station which these people use everyday is part of the above mentioned hole. The only thing amazing is that you would have a hard time seeing why they might be "scared by such events".

Oh my god! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27735429)

A second Air Force One just crashed into the other tower!!!

Look Boss (5, Funny)

Phoenixhawk (1188721) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735435)

Da Plane, Da Plane...

Interesting (5, Funny)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735441)

I won't lie, I irrationally freak out every time I see a plane flying low. Although it's never anything- just some sight-seeing tourist plane. Still freaks me out. I don't live in the city though, I live in central NH. I can imagine why it freaks out New Yorkers. So before everybody goes on the whole "everybody's just over-reacting" thing, why don't we instead consider other options:

-Building tall buildings underground, instead of above.
-Requiring high altitudes for all planes, military or civilian, and producing auto-shoot auto-aim turrets around the ciy with no warning shots.
- Include parashoots as standard emergency materials for skyscrapers?

Re:Interesting (3, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735603)

-Building tall buildings underground, instead of above.

They're a coffin if there's a fire on the ground floor and you're on floor -50? Flooding and water damage? More work to displace 50 stories of earth, rock and shale than 50 stories of air?

-Requiring high altitudes for all planes, military or civilian

I think these are in place. Last time I saw a flight map for a city, there were huge no fly circles around it. I'm not a pilot but I think that's been around for a while.

producing auto-shoot auto-aim turrets around the ciy with no warning shots.

Is this a joke?

Include parashoots as standard emergency materials for skyscrapers?

There are no easy exits from a skyscraper nor should there be. This wouldn't have saved many lives ... if any at all. People would be too scared to jump until absolutely sure the planes are going to hit them.

I do not think these people were overreacting. Although I feel that their fears were statistically misplaced, I more than likely would have opted to "take a brisk walk in the park" upon seeing that uncommon event out my window.

Re:Interesting (1)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735785)

Is this a joke?

You caught me. :P

Re:Interesting (1)

CompMD (522020) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735629)

Over 9000 civil and aerospace engineers want to bludgeon you with rocks for the stupidity of your comment.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27735701)

What, nine thousand?!

Re:Interesting (2, Informative)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735631)

Because underground excavation would be hideously expensive to the depths of a normal sky scraper.

Because there's airports whose approaches require flying near cities, and god forbid a rogue update or hack gets in to the turret systems.

Ever tried BASE jumping? Instructors won't teach anyone without skydiving experience. Now, have a couple hundred people, all panicked, jumping out of a building, untrained. Doesn't work. Not to mention most windows are shatterproof, and for safety reasons cannot be opened when that high up, so you'd waste valuable time trying to break a window.

And this got upvoted?

Re:Interesting (2, Funny)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735841)

I forgot the IRONY tags. My bad.

Re:Interesting (1)

HasselhoffThePaladin (1191269) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735975)

I forgot the IRONY tags. My bad.

Thank God. Ignore my post below : /

Re:Interesting (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735979)

Well fuck me. I can only blame my idiocy on a lack of sleep. *bows* I apologize, and recognize a master of irony.

Re:Interesting (4, Funny)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735715)

-Building tall buildings underground, instead of above.

Great idea, then everyone can be basement dwellers.

(chants) One of us! One of us!

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27735727)

-Building tall buildings underground, instead of above.

Building a 1 acre 500 ft deep hole? Shouldn't be expensive at all. Enjoy your cave existance on the -100th floor.

-Requiring high altitudes for all planes, military or civilian, and producing auto-shoot auto-aim turrets around the ciy with no warning shots.

I see no problem resulting from this. No sir. By the way, will you be moving every airport near a city (e.g. Logan, JFK) or just require the planes to drop down vertically from 5,000 ft?

- Include parashoots [sic] as standard emergency materials for skyscrapers?

You won't need PARACHUTES in your underground building, just a miner's helmet.

Other option...
- Get a grip and grow a pair

Re:Interesting (1)

Captain Centropyge (1245886) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735753)

Ummm... if "tall buildings" are underground, why would we need parachutes?

Re:Interesting (3, Insightful)

Frigga's Ring (1044024) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735757)

Oh goodness, please tell me you're just trying to be funny.

Listen people: if you're alive, one day, you're going to die. You can take steps to live longer (eat healthy, wear a seatbelt, don't drink cyanide, etc), but worrying about every plane that flies over your house is not one of them.

Take heart in knowing that you're more likely to be struck and killed by a train while worriedly searching the sky for an airplane thousands of feet up.

Re:Interesting (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735809)

It would probably be a lot cheaper just to get you a shrink...

Re:Interesting (4, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735857)

It's one thing to be nervous when a plane flies by. It's entirely another thing to evacuate multiple buildings when a plane flies by.

We are a nation of overreactors. When we see a bag someone has left on a bench, we have to evacuate 4 square miles and call in the bomb squad. When someone shows up at the gate at an airport without his boarding pass, we evacuate the airport, ground all the planes, and search the whole place.

It pays to be cautious, but there's a vast middle ground between doing nothing and panicking over every little thing.

Re:Interesting (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27736013)

Don't forget evacuating a city when someone leaves Lite-Brites lying aruond

Re:Interesting (1)

Luthe_Faydwire (700369) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735897)

Wow...
"Building tall buildings underground, instead of above."
First, building up is much less expensive than building down. Second, having been in a bunker with false light systems... you get to miss even the small amount of natural light that you get in the center of current skyscrapers.

"Requiring high altitudes for all planes, military or civilian, and producing auto-shoot auto-aim turrets around the ciy with no warning shots."
Requiring that the airport be a significant distance from any city or the planes are shot down before they get to "approved height". How far to you want to drive to the airport? It would also be putting interesting weapons around everywhere for people to play with... just imagine the first hardhack tagged story around that.

"Include parashoots as standard emergency materials for skyscrapers?"
Wind around skyscrapers is very hazardous, look into wind tunnel effects that are reported around skyscrapers. Zip lines would be safer but impractical in other ways.

Re:Interesting (2, Insightful)

PixelThis (690303) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735923)

I'll probably regret responding to this but it's a slow Monday...

* Building "tall" buildings underground costs a whole lot more than building up above ground. There are also issues with depth and air pressure, especially when you start talking about 40+ story buildings going down. All of a sudden getting the bends becomes an issue when it's time to go home (or God forbid evacuate the building).

* Required mandatory high altitudes for all planes... how were you imagining that they'd land? Most major cities have airports right close by.

* Normal parachutes don't always deploy effectively for drops of less than 500 feet, so that eliminates a lot of buildings. Also parachutes don't work so well when the wind blows you into the side of building you just jumped out of... or the one across the street.

Maybe we should work on helping these people get over their panic-first think-later reactions? It'll be long term less expensive and ultimately more effective.

Re:Interesting (1)

HasselhoffThePaladin (1191269) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735927)

why don't we instead consider other options:

OK...

-Building tall buildings underground, instead of above.

The idea of being underground in a local emergency situation sounds way worse than being in a building--the simple inability to look out a window at the world around you and get a quick look at the situation unfolding outside would increase the level of panic caused by any such event.

-Requiring high altitudes for all planes, military or civilian, and producing auto-shoot auto-aim turrets around the ciy with no warning shots.

I don't have a lot for this one, but there are a few reasons why an airplane would have to fly at low altitude. Further, auto-shoot/auto-aim/no warning shots sounds like an overreaction bordering on hyperbole to me.

- Include parashoots as standard emergency materials for skyscrapers?

Because people are generally smart in an emergency situation and can be relied upon to operate a parachute safely? What about the training required to safely execute a low-altitude jump from a solid base? What about the giant mess that'd be caused by hundreds of people jumping out of a building in an uncoordinated manner who will wait a split second longer to deploy their parachute and crash into a jumper below? And let's not forget that people are going to overreact--plain and simple, everyone does it, especially in crowds where fear is contagious--and so will execute a dangerous jump for no reason whatsoever.

Seems to me that the overreaction exemplified by people simply evacuating a building is a lot safer than the options you listed.

Wtf? (2, Insightful)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735513)

First off, to get it out of my system:

Was also spurred evacuations

*headdesk*

Okay, now for the real comment:

A plane is being escorted by F-16s. And this causes hundreds of people to flee for their lives by making a mad dash out of their building? There's being careful, then there's being an overly paranoid idiot. I'm pretty sure that if the jets are there, you'd be safer *in a building* rather than where all the explodey shrapnel can get to you.

Re:Wtf? (1)

district (1470335) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735705)

ok, mod me down for flamebait, but thanks for the nerd perspective twidarkling! I didn't know Dwight Schrute had a /. account (and, yes, its a much lower number than mine!)

Re:Wtf? (5, Insightful)

Manfre (631065) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735935)

A plane is being escorted by F-16s. And this causes hundreds of people to flee for their lives by making a mad dash out of their building? There's being careful, then there's being an overly paranoid idiot. I'm pretty sure that if the jets are there, you'd be safer *in a building* rather than where all the explodey shrapnel can get to you.

A low flying 747 flying low near manhattan being pursued by F-16s. Definitely no reason to be alarmed! After all, if they fired missiles at the potentially hijacked plane it would explode completely like in the movies. There definitely wouldn't be any large, flaming fragments of the plane to crash in to buildings, potentially trapping those inside. You're right, definitely much safer in buildings.

Re:Wtf? (1)

jabithew (1340853) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735999)

A plane is being escorted by F-16s. And this causes hundreds of people to flee for their lives by making a mad dash out of their building?

I live in London, on the Heathrow flightpath. There are dozens of commercial flights overhead a day, so many that you don't notice. I've yet to see one escorted by military jets. I would certainly have a very different attitude if I saw a jumbo flanked by two F-15s than one sans fighters.

Do 747s often have military escorts over there?

Re:Wtf? (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 5 years ago | (#27736061)

Do 747s often have military escorts over there?

Ones outside designated commercial flight paths often have escorts, yes.

Re:Wtf? (5, Insightful)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#27736011)

And this causes hundreds of people to flee for their lives by making a mad dash out of their building?

No, it gives a bunch of folks the excuse to drop their work, run outside, have a cigarette, grab a hot dog, a beer, another hot dog, more beer . . .

Re:Wtf? (1)

Yiddishkite (525633) | more than 5 years ago | (#27736107)

Let's assume the worst: Terrorists have hijacked the 747 and the F-16s were scrambling to flank it. The terrorists start flying the plane towards, say, one of the large office towers on the Jersey side of the river. The F-16s will then (a) do nothing (b) shoot it down. Where does the plane go? The shrapnel?

You wouldn't be safe anywhere in the vicinity.

Sounds silly, but is it? (1)

Crashspeeder (1468723) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735531)

It's easy for me to say that this sounds ridiculous but then again I wasn't in the surrounding buildings evacuating when the towers were on fire. I think it'd be safe to assume that any plane being tailed by military fighters isn't going to be causing much trouble though.

Re:Sounds silly, but is it? (3, Insightful)

Cormacus (976625) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735847)

You know, I don't think those jets could have done anything about a 747 if it suddenly decided to head towards a building. I'm surprised by the amount of *facepalm* happening here. In a city where several major skyscrapers were taken out by low-flying passenger planes, it really wouldn't have hurt if the folks that were planning this had mentioned something to the people at large. They clearly knew there would be a reaction - they let 311 and 911 operators know about it. So why not let the media know? Jay Leno could make a few jokes about it, people would laugh at how crass it was, and then when it happened folks could look up and go "oh yeah, that's strange, but its supposed to be happening. Thanks for the heads-up."

We're in the age of *information* right?

Re:Sounds silly, but is it? (3, Interesting)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 5 years ago | (#27736117)

Disrupting the structural integrity of the 747 so it became lots of little pieces of 747 would greatly lessen the damage it could do to a building. The engines and other large chunks might cause a few people to have a very bad day but the building would be fine.

Bloomberg is such a total git... (2, Insightful)

Mnemennth (607438) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735617)

He's out there sucking up video time bashing the Obama Administation over this, when his office WAS advised, and HE DID NOTHING to prepare his community.

Sure people got scared, and rightly so, but is was HIS OWN FAULT.

mnem

Politics is just like the internet: the louder, the flashier something is; the more it jumps up & down for your attention, the likelier it is to be poisonous to your system or at least utter BS.

Re:Bloomberg is such a total git... (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735925)

Read TFA.

He's pissed because somehow, someone in his office interpreted "keep it on the down low" (including the "need to know" phrase) as "the mayor doesn't need to know".

Yes, he did nothing. How could he do anything when HE WASN'T EVEN NOTIFIED!

The mayor of the city that's getting flown over SHOULD be notified of such items, but instead of directly contacting the mayor, the FAA contacted some city hall flunkie who cowered in fear at the distribution statement so much that he didn't even tell those who had a "need to know".

What an irresponsible move! (1)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735637)

What an irresponsible idea to "surprise" people this way (and unless you blanket the public with warnings for the week prior, it's going to surprise a lot of people, no matter how many notices there are on the White House's website).

Sure, sure, the people of New York could have run some numbers and figured out that there was really no threat, but come on -- in a case like this you're going to want to be safe before sorry. And remember, the smartest people in town just blew up the global economy! ;-)

Seriously though, what next? Pilot an unmanned 747 into the Empire State Building but make it blow up harmlessly at the last second, all without even warning the FAA?

This is like those towns whose police think they're clever and noble for pulling over good drivers to "reward" them with $5 gift cards to Starbucks.

Re:What an irresponsible move! (1)

Mnemennth (607438) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735781)

They were warned, you spazz. The flightplan was file with the FAA, everybody was warned DIRECTLY - Mayor Bloomberg's office DID NOTHING to prepare his city.

mnem

"A person is smart - PEOPLE are dumb, panicky animals, and you know it." Agent K - MiB

Re:What an irresponsible move! (1)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735987)

Filing a flight plan serves as notice to the city's officials?

So, part of the mayor's daily agenda should be to read through all flight plans filed with the FAA to see if anything is planned that maybe the citizens ought to know about?

Not buying it.

Re:What an irresponsible move! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27736113)

This reminds me of how an obscure book about hitchhiking in the galaxy began...

Re:What an irresponsible move! (4, Informative)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 5 years ago | (#27736015)

From the NYT article:

The Police Department confirmed that it had been notified about the event but said it had been barred from alerting the public. âoeThe 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,â the Police Department said in a statement. The mayor criticized the secrecy around the flyover. The e-mail notification âoedid have the normal language of saying this is sensitive information, should be distributed on a need-to-know basis, that they did not plan to have any publicity about it, which I think is ridiculous and just poor judgment,â Mr. Bloomberg said.

Too lazy to remove the smartquotes, but you get the idea.

Re:What an irresponsible move! (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 5 years ago | (#27736041)

Do you have a source for that claim?

According to TFA someone in the city government was told but they were also told to keep it confidential and the mayor didn't find out until it was too late.

Re:What an irresponsible move! (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#27736053)

Pilot an unmanned 747 into the Empire State Building but make it blow up harmlessly at the last second,

This is one New Yorker who thinks that would be pretty awesome. We'd probably have a party on our roof if you made it the Chrysler building.

Re:What an irresponsible move! (1)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 5 years ago | (#27736103)

in a case like this you're going to want to be safe before sorry

Not sure if you're joking or not, but back when I had a job (those were good times) in downtown Seattle are you saying every time a jet was on approach (which happened all the time since Seatac and Boeing field are pretty close to downtown) we should all evacuate and go watch just in case it veered off to the left a bit and decided to crash into a building?

It might mean working 10 minutes a day ;).

Performance art (3, Funny)

Nimey (114278) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735737)

This was performance art by the Obama administration, the better to show people what paranoid idiots they are.

It wasn't Air Force One. (2, Informative)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735751)

It wasn't Air Force One. It was the president's backup plane. It would only become Air Force One if something happen to the real Air Force One.

Actually, Air Force One is only takes the tail number Air Force One if the president is actually on board. Otherwise it goes by it's actual tail number.

neow, dakka dakka dakka boom boom boom (1)

Goffee71 (628501) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735763)

This story happened, what, 8 hours ago? Jeez, get over it already and watch out for the next scary sh!t to happen.

c0m (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27735817)

least I 3on't [goat.cx]

As U.S.A. collapses: +1 , Incendiary (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27735825)

Russian cargo planes increase shipments.

Yours In Socialism,
K. Trout

Not an over-reaction... (5, Insightful)

Dimes (10216) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735831)

Planes don't fly low here anymore. Its not allowed. Certainly not 747s. For the people that were here Sept 11, 2001(I was one of the many)....its very upsetting, disturbing....to look up and see a plane that low and near. So don't jump to conclusions about people over-reacting. Its a real thing for New Yorkers and others in the area.

Wow (1)

jciarlan (1152991) | more than 5 years ago | (#27735845)

I'm in hoboken, and I didn't see any of this. Thanks for gluing me to my computer, slashdot.

Perhaps (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27735917)

People should stop being so godamn insensitive? I mean, a lot of these people either worked in or around the WTC when it was hit. A lot of them lost family and friends in those buildings. There's ALWAYS going to be a sense of fear instilled in these people because of 9/11. It's not that they haven't gone on with their lives, it's not that they harp on the subject, it's that these people witnessed the greatest terrorist event in the history of the United States. If you think you wouldn't be so concerned about a Jet colliding with your building, either killing you, forcing you to jump from 70 stories up, or coming down on top of you, I suggest you think about the horrible realities that September 11th brought to that city and its people, and hwo you'd feel if someone close to you died so senselessy and terribly.

Uhh, doesn't this prove the terrorists have won? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27736091)

terrorism
-noun
1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes.
2. the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization.
3. a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a government.

Does this not be definition prove that the terrorists have in fact won? Fleeing for your life every time a plane fly's a little lower then normal sure wouldn't be a way I would want to live my life.

Overreacting, but not very bright to do (1)

sunking2 (521698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27736099)

A 747 is huge and its pretty difficult to really guage its proximity and altitude. I can easily see peoples hearts jumping if you suddenly looked up and saw this. I work near an airport and when the light and angles are just right the eyes can play some pretty nasty tricks. I remember one time driving in and having my heart jump out of my chest simply because the angle that a 777 was taking off and climbing made it appear to almost stall in the air. For that split second I thought for sure it was crashing.

A Couple 1000 People Died (2)

WebmasterNeal (1163683) | more than 5 years ago | (#27736115)

Oh how soon we forget. I think people in NY are a bit more sensitive to the topic than the rest of the country/world when it comes to planes flying low and they have every reason to be. Anybody consider that current office workers somehow knew or were related to the victims of 9/11?
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