Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Image

Air Force One Flyby Causes Brief Panic In NYC 898

Posted by samzenpus
from the good-thinking-fellas dept.
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."

*

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Air Force One Flyby Causes Brief Panic In NYC

Comments Filter:
  • We are a bunch (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 27, 2009 @04:05PM (#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!
    • by nametaken (610866) on Monday April 27, 2009 @04:08PM (#27735507)

      Alert. Unafraid citizen. Sanitize... SANITIZE!

    • by dangle (1381879) on Monday April 27, 2009 @04:27PM (#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: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by houghi (78078)

        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.

        I just re-read this 5 times and realized that the terrorists have won.

      • by vmxeo (173325) on Monday April 27, 2009 @05:54PM (#27737705) Homepage Journal

        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.

        As a New Yorker, I'd like to reaffirm this. After watching first-hand both planes hit the Twin Towers and both towers collapsing, yes, I feel a bit skittish when planes fly very low overhead. Not only did we have 9/11, but we've had a plane recently splash-land into the Hudson, as well as a number of both larger and smaller craft crash into buildings or into a river. It happens rarely, when planes fly low on purpose it usually evokes the same reactions from other New Yorkers, they pause and look up, wondering if it's suppose to be where it is, or if its going to crash.

        Most comments here quick point out how stupid and unreasonable this is. Yes, by definition, it is unreasonable. It's a deep survival instinct that kicks in until the higher reasoning thoughts point out that it's ok and to go about your business. I also experienced the Loma Prieta earthquake growing up near San Francisco, along with countless smaller tremors. When I moved to NYC, for the first year my mind would go into a momentary panic when ever I felt the rumble of the subway going by. Again, it was stupid and unreasonable, but there's a reason its there. Someday, when planes stop crashing into buildings here in the city, enough time will go by and New Yorkers will stop freaking out, and reason will prevail. Someday...

    • Re:We are a bunch (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Red Flayer (890720) on Monday April 27, 2009 @04:29PM (#27736001) Journal
      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 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by antibryce (124264) on Monday April 27, 2009 @04:31PM (#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 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by R2.0 (532027) on Monday April 27, 2009 @04:34PM (#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.

      • Re:We are a bunch (Score:4, Insightful)

        by INT_QRK (1043164) on Monday April 27, 2009 @04:48PM (#27736437)
        R2.0: Out-freeking-standing post. I'd mod you up if I could.
      • Re:We are a bunch (Score:5, Interesting)

        by MrLogic17 (233498) on Monday April 27, 2009 @04:54PM (#27736543) Journal

        For posts like this, +5 just isn't high enough.

        Makes me wish for a logarithmic mod scale....

      • Re:We are a bunch (Score:4, Insightful)

        by C0C0C0 (688434) on Monday April 27, 2009 @04:54PM (#27736549)
        +5, brother. We are raising a nation of wimps. I'm imagining this is what Rome was like in the final years, as the frontier crumbled and the barbarians road unmolested through Italy.
      • Re:We are a bunch (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Diagoras (859063) on Monday April 27, 2009 @04:55PM (#27736575)

        Most people become terrified upon entering situations where both death and helplessness are present, like being fired at by an individual with a gun when you have none. This is nothing to be ashamed of, this is just being human. You might be a superman capable of charging across the room and kung-fuing the gun out of a madman's hand, and I'm glad for you that you are, but don't heap disdain on those that have frozen in such situations.

        • Re:We are a bunch (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Monday April 27, 2009 @05:00PM (#27736681)

          This is nothing to be ashamed of

          Nor is it anything to be proud of or held as an example of heroic behaviour.

        • Re:We are a bunch (Score:5, Insightful)

          by mdielmann (514750) on Monday April 27, 2009 @05:41PM (#27737449) Homepage Journal

          And this is where you have to decide if you're going to pull up your pants and do something or cower in fear.
          The reason 9/11 happened isn't because of the bravery of skill or cleverness of the hijackers, it's because of the institutionalized cowardice we've mandated in most 'civilized' countries in response to this. "Just do what they say, keep your head down, and let the professionals take care of it." The only thing that really changed after 9/11 was that we saw that perhaps the authorities won't get there in time, and maybe, just maybe, you can't trust hostage-takers for your welfare.
          This institutionalized cowardice shows itself in other ways. People who refuse to fly after 9/11, even though it's arguably safer than before. Not because of the new 'security' measures, but because people know that if the hijackers succeed there's a good chance they'll all die, and so they'll do whatever it takes to keep that from happening. And of course the terrorists know that, and plane hijackings just aren't in vogue anymore.
          Another way this institutionalized cowardice shows is people who just don't have the balls to say to themselves and their neighbours, their fellow hostages, "There's only one of him, only 9 (or 15 or 30) bullets in that gun, and if we storm him he won't be able to reload. Sure, one or more of us could die, but we aren't going to sit back and let fear and the threat of violence rule our lives."
          Of course, bravery and stupidity can be easily mistaken. No sense rushing a squad of guys carrying automatics, but a single guy with a semi-auto pistol? That's not an unreasonable goal for 5 or 10 determined individuals. A few guys with box cutters? Why would you even wait?

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Dragonslicer (991472)

            The reason 9/11 happened isn't because of the bravery of skill or cleverness of the hijackers, it's because of the institutionalized cowardice we've mandated in most 'civilized' countries in response to this.

            Except hijacked planes being crashed into buildings had never happened before. In every previous hijacking, the pilots flew the plane to $island_nation and all the passengers got home safely. People "weren't brave" because it would have been stupid, leading to deaths that would not have happened otherwise. The hijacked plane where the passengers learned what was happening is a prime example of what will happen in the future, since the passengers will remember the one time when it wasn't just a bunch of pett

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Tanktalus (794810)

          like being fired at by an individual with a gun when you have none.

          I think you may have just hit upon the problem. The guys who wish to do you harm have more power than the defenders.

          CCW probably would have taken care of most of these issues. If even 10% of the populace were trained to carry concealed weapons, many of these atrocities could have been "crazy person kills two, gets shot down by four bystanders." Now, I realise that carrying weapons onto flying sardine cans is a different type of crazy, but assuming that it were allowed, rather than one covert lawman on th

      • Re:We are a bunch (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Shakrai (717556) on Monday April 27, 2009 @05:58PM (#27737773) Journal

        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.

        With all due respect, I live in this town and the media hasn't reported that story fairly or accurately. Are you familiar with the fog of war? Nobody knows what's going on. All the police knew at the time is that they've arrived on scene and no shots are being fired. They have contact with the receptionist up front (the true heroine that day) and some people hiding in the basement. None of the people they had contact with could see the shooter -- all they knew was that the shots had ceased.

        The working assumption at first was that they were dealing with a hostage situation. You may recall that this is what the media reported. Now if you think you are dealing with a hostage situation are you going to go charging in and risk further loss of life or are you going to try and establish contact with the hostage-taker while getting the rest of your units in place and ready to go in? Within ten minutes they had the shooters information and were attempting to contact him. When they eventually found his cell phone (abandoned in his vehicle as I recall) it had a series of missed calls from the police on it.

        When they couldn't establish contact they decided to go into the building. They deployed the SWAT team and a robot from the bomb squad. Clearing the building took another 30-45 minutes, during which time the victims were being taken out. The folks in the basement were advised to barricade the door and remain in contact. As their cell phone batteries died they switched off and called from another phone. Further complicating this was the language barrier -- the building in question was an immigrant center and many of the victims didn't speak English.

        Every local police officer I've spoken with says that they are trained for active shooter scenarios. If shots were still being fired when they arrived they would have gone in. It would have been messy (the suspect had body armor and patrolmen don't have the weapons or training to deal with that) but they would have gone in nonetheless. Since they didn't hear shots they proceeded with caution rather than risk running up the body count further. Does this really seem unreasonable to you?

        Oh yes, we have reached the point where helplessness is considered noble

        You'll brook no argument from me on this point. "Just wait for the police, don't try to do anything yourself, you might get hurt" The arguments against gun-ownership are particularly insulting in this regard. I just wanted to correct you on the Binghamton shooting. As I said, I live in this area and I feel that our police agencies handled the matter as well as could be expected with the information that they had at the time. Will they learn a few lessons from this and refine their procedures? Probably. Do they deserve our scorn for how they responded to this incident? No, IMHO, they don't.

  • Wow.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Drakin020 (980931) on Monday April 27, 2009 @04:05PM (#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.... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TheMeuge (645043) on Monday April 27, 2009 @04:09PM (#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.... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by hansamurai (907719) <hansamurai@gmail.com> on Monday April 27, 2009 @04:14PM (#27735655) Homepage Journal

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

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          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.... (Score:5, Funny)

        by Nimey (114278) on Monday April 27, 2009 @04:17PM (#27735719) Homepage Journal

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

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

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

      by MikeXpop (614167) <mike&redcrowbar,com> on Monday April 27, 2009 @04:16PM (#27735693) Journal
      If you were in Manhattan and saw a low-flying commercial airliner tailed by two F-16s, you wouldn't blink an eyelash?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by eth1 (94901)

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

    • Re:Wow.... (Score:5, Funny)

      by Dunbal (464142) on Monday April 27, 2009 @04:19PM (#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.... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MightyYar (622222) on Monday April 27, 2009 @04:27PM (#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".

  • Look Boss (Score:5, Funny)

    by Phoenixhawk (1188721) on Monday April 27, 2009 @04:05PM (#27735435)

    Da Plane, Da Plane...

  • Interesting (Score:5, Funny)

    by FredFredrickson (1177871) * on Monday April 27, 2009 @04:05PM (#27735441) Homepage Journal
    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 (Score:4, Insightful)

      by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Monday April 27, 2009 @04:12PM (#27735603) Journal

      -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 (Score:5, Interesting)

        by hazem (472289) on Monday April 27, 2009 @06:04PM (#27737877) Journal

        They're a coffin if there's a fire on the ground floor and you're on floor -50?

        I wonder... if there was a fire on the ground floor, would you even care if you're on floor -50?

        The smoke and hot air will go up and out. I suppose the fire could burn down to that level but that would probably take a long time and firewalls between floors could probably prevent most of the spread.

        There might be a problem with water used to fight the fire, but then you probably would already have sump pumps to take care of ground water that is probably already seeping in.

        I suppose if you had any number of these deep buildings that you'd interconnect them below ground level and have escape routes that don't require going straight up.

        The only thing I wouldn't like would be the lack of sunlight.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by tweak13 (1171627)

        -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.

        Unless that city was Washington DC, you're interpreting that map wrong. No-fly zones, officially called prohibited airspace, are not very common and when present are usually quite small. You were probably looking at class B or C airspace, which is open to flight to all aircraft, as long as they are in contact with air traffic control.

        The applicable regulations for minimum altitude (paraphrased, I don't have them memorized) basically say that in sparsely populated areas, you must have 500 ft of separa

    • by Farmer Tim (530755) <roundfileNO@SPAMmindless.com> on Monday April 27, 2009 @04:16PM (#27735715) Journal

      -Building tall buildings underground, instead of above.

      Great idea, then everyone can be basement dwellers.

      (chants) One of us! One of us!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      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 (Score:4, Insightful)

      by eln (21727) on Monday April 27, 2009 @04:23PM (#27735857) Homepage

      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.

  • by Nimey (114278) on Monday April 27, 2009 @04:18PM (#27735737) Homepage Journal

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

  • by C_Kode (102755) on Monday April 27, 2009 @04:19PM (#27735751) Journal

    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.

  • by Dimes (10216) * on Monday April 27, 2009 @04:22PM (#27735831) Homepage

    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.

  • Perhaps (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 27, 2009 @04:26PM (#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.

  • and oh look: a bumper crop of smug slashdot comments calling lower manhattan office workers panicky fear-addled fools

    bonus comment: its better to stay inside the building [slashdot.org]. and this is actually modded up (facepalm)

    let's just break it down for you world-weary heart-heavy wise men:

    if you saw airplanes flying into office towers on 9/11, then the sight of a 747 a few hundred feet off the ground, nearly clipping office towers in lower manhattan, followed by an f-16, this just might persude you to leave the area as well. but naaah... clearly its low-iq hysteria, right?

    you may now continue your overly judgmental certitude in your rural basements, safe in your knowledge that all reactions you disprove of are nothing more than irrational fear. you of course are immune to this. when it comes the federal government's wiretapping policies, copyright laws, and anti-pornography crusade, rather than prudent moves to dispel these unwise ideas, the proper reaction is panty-twisting pronouncements of the end of democracy and western liberal ideals. right?

    truly, you are all level-headed fountains of wisdom of the ways of humankind. not in any way hypocritical asses

    where oh where would we all be without your insightful words? hmmm. maybe with a little less self-serving and smug condescension? naaah

    look: an anti-pornography law! whine and moan about the end of western civilization. nothing fear-addled there

    blind overly judgmental hypocrites. that's all i see

    xoxoxoxox

  • by puregen1us (648116) <<moc.namressawxela> <ta> <xela>> on Monday April 27, 2009 @04:58PM (#27736649)

    Is it possible that people are complaining about the wrong thing here? Sure, the discussion about whether to run or not is interesting, but how about whether people should have been informed or not?

    Given that there were memos sent to numerous organisations, and yet the information was not disseminated at the will of Obama, isn't there a more pressing question here?

    Like, why would the president want to scare the crap out of southern manhattan? It's not a huge stretch to assume that flying a 747 low over Manhattan would scare people...

  • by eck011219 (851729) on Monday April 27, 2009 @05:05PM (#27736775)

    Based on other comments, my opinion will clearly be unpopular. But how is this not akin to shouting "fire!" in a movie theater? Lower Manhattan is full of people who lived through 9/11, and it doesn't seem unreasonable to me that a low-flying 747 being escorted by a fighter jet would send up warning flags for those people. Add to that the fact that a lot of people stuck it out in the Twin Towers expecting to be rescued (and in doing so, died), and it makes some sense that people would high-tail it out of a tall building in the vicinity. Given all of that, I think it's rather small to dismiss a bunch of people who reacted to this today as wusses.

    This wasn't a criminal act, it wasn't an act of terror. It was an insensitive and stupid act. Seems to me a little extra thought could have come up with a better solution than doing this that DOESN'T run the risk of sending a lot of people into a panic?

    Besides, isn't this what Photoshop is for?

  • by javelinco (652113) on Monday April 27, 2009 @05:42PM (#27737467) Journal
    The frackin' thing was someone's idea of a good photo shoot! Can I please have your resignation, NOW!!??

    CNN Story

    Louis Caldera, director of the White House Military Office, apologized for the confusion Monday. "Last week, I approved a mission over New York. I take responsibility for that decision," he 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."

  • by Knara (9377) on Monday April 27, 2009 @05:43PM (#27737489)

    According to CNN, the FAA and Air Force informed the NYPD and the NY Mayors office that this was going to happen, but the staff at both didn't think it would be necessary to 1) inform the public, or 2) inform the Mayor himself(!).

    No wonder NYC is a mess :)

    (not sure why the initial version of this was posted anonymously)

Money will say more in one moment than the most eloquent lover can in years.

Working...