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Air Force One Backup Rattles New York Nerves - NY Times

Yrys

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(I'm not sure if it's the right forum for that one...)

Air Force One Backup Rattles New York Nerves, NY Times

hudson-480.jpg

A reader, Jim Brown, took this photograph from 10 Exchange Place in Jersey City,
looking toward 77 Hudson Street and the Statue of Liberty. In the photo, the plane
appears closer than it actually was.


Video of Air Force "Photo-Op" That Caused Panic in New York City and Jersey City

Updated, 11:59 a.m. |  An Air Force One lookalike, the backup plane for the one regularly used
by the president, flew low over Manhattan on Monday morning, accompanied by two F-16 fighters,
so Air Force photographers could take pictures. But a lack of awareness about the flyover led to
the evacuation of several buildings in Lower Manhattan and Jersey City, and perplexed officials at
the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and other authorities were inundated with calls
from anxious ferry passengers, office workers and residents.

Jim Peters, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said “the photo op was approved
and coordinated with everyone.” Notification was made in advance to the mayor’s office, “including
its 911 and 311 operation centers,” the New York City Police Department, the New Jersey State Police,
the United States Park Police and other agencies, he said.

Later on Monday morning, the Police Department acknowledged that it had been notified about the
event but said it had been barred from alerting the public. “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,” the Police Department said in a statement.

The event was scheduled for 10 to 10:30 a.m. The plane is designated by the Defense Department
as a VC-25 but is recognizable to the public as a Boeing 747.  Unaware of the planned exercise, scores
of office workers flooded out of buildings, worried about the prospect of terrorism.

“People came pouring out of the buildings, the American Express Building, all the buildings in the
financial district by the water,” said Edward Acker, a photographer who was at the building, 3 World
Financial Center. “And even the construction guys over by 100 North End Avenue area, they all got
out of their buildings. Nobody knew about it. Finally some guy showed up with a little megaphone to
tell everyone it was a test, but the people were not happy. The people who were here 9/11 were not
happy.”

Mr. Acker added: “New York City police were standing right there and they had no knowledge of it.
The evacuations were spontaneous. Guys from the floor came out, and one guy I talked to was just shaking.”

Even the markets dipped shortly after 10 a.m., though it was unclear if the alarm over the planes was
a factor. Starting at 10:02 a.m., three main market indexes started dropping precipitously. The Dow
Jones industrial average dropped 40 points in 10 minutes, starting 10:15 a.m., before it rebounded
more than 50 points.

In Jersey City, construction workers were evacuated from a condominium tower under construction at
77 Hudson Street. The workers, who were on the 32nd floor of the construction site, said the plane
circled three times past the Goldman Sachs tower, the tallest building in New Jersey. On the second
pass, they said, the jet appeared to be only a few dozen feet from the building — close enough to clip
the side of the skyscraper. A fighter followed right behind, mirroring its moves. The construction site
as were other buildings in downtown Jersey City, including offices in the Exchange Place financial complex.

Carlina Rivera, 25, who works at Kaplan K12 Learning Services, on the 22nd floor of 1 Liberty Plaza,
said her co-workers were spooked in part because their offices are so close to the site of the 9/11
attack. “As soon as someone saw how close it got to the buildings, people literally ran out,” she said.
“Probably about 80 percent of my office left within two minutes of seeing how close it got to our
building.”

Ms. Rivera, who was a high school student in the East Village when the 9/11 attack occurred, added,
“I did feel a little bit foolish for staying in the office while everyone left.” Ms. Rivera said eventually
there was a message made over the public announcement system that the plane was an
advertisement for a movie — which she said that did not coincide with what they were reading online
about the plane taking pictures of the Statue of Liberty. “It was a little confusing. What was the truth?”
she said. Ms. Rivera continued: “Of course, everyone had to take out their cellphones and say, ‘You
can come back, it’s O.K.’ Eventually they returned with some sort of comfort food. We feel like we
should have at least been warned.”

At 1 Liberty Plaza, according to another person who works in Lower Manhattan, a loudspeaker
announcement said at 10:55 a.m., “Planes were observed flying low over Lower Manhattan, but
were part of an approved federal action.”

Notify NYC, a pilot electronic service intended to quickly provide emergency alerts to New Yorkers
who sign up for them, did not prove particularly effective. Text messages and e-mail messages
explaining the flyover were sent out at 10:38 a.m., after the exercise was already scheduled to end.
“The community was startled, and would have preferred advance warning,” said Catherine McVay
Hughes, vice chairwoman of Community Board 1 in Lower Manhattan.

Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the Port Authority, which runs the region’s three major airports,
said the low-flying planes prompted confusion. “This has nothing to do with any of our airports,”
he added.

The Staten Island Advance reported that the Federal Aviation Administration had authorized the flights
and that the flights were “pre-planned.”

President Obama was not aboard the plane, nor was he in the New York area. He gave a speech at
9 a.m. at the National Academy of Sciences in downtown Washington.

It was not the first time that authorized flyovers had left anxiety in Lower Manhattan. In February
2002, two Air Force F-16 fighters flew low over Manhattan as they made their way back to Atlantic
City after a regular patrol. Officials later acknowledged that “the timing and location” of the flyover
were “poorly coordinated.”

Jessica Bagdorf, Sewell Chan, Jennifer 8. Lee and Daniel E. Slotnik contributed reporting.
 

benny88

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  Not sure what to make of this one. While it seems easy to sit here now and say they were paranoid, it'd likely be a lot harder to be more reasonable had I been working in Manhattan on Sept 11, 2001 and saw another passenger jet close by that day. Then again, I doubt I would mistake it for being "a few dozen feet from the building."
  I don't know what else they could have done to notify people? If the Mayor's office knew that seems pretty reasonable. It's not realistic to make sure every beat cop knew about it, let alone every resident.
 

Smirnoff123

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I'm glad that they took the proper safety precautions, don't need another 9/11 on our hands
 

Smirnoff123

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They could have just stayed in the buildings rather than evacuating, so I'm saying that im glad that they did choose to evacuate because it could have been another attack or just a plane crash. Just like having fire drills in schools.
 

SupersonicMax

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So you're saying they should evacuate everytime they see a low flying airplane? 

Wouldn't that constitute a victory in itself for TERRORists?
 
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aesop081

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Smirnoff123 said:
They could have just stayed in the buildings rather than evacuating, so I'm saying that im glad that they did choose to evacuate because it could have been another attack or just a plane crash. Just like having fire drills in schools.

By your reasoning a good portion of  alot of Major cities should evacute every 30 seconds........
 

DBA

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A large plane touring a city by visiting various landmarks like the Status of Liberty at low altitude is a rare occurrence. Doing it while tailed by a fighter jet is even less common.
 

Jammer

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Why a VC-25 for a photo run?
Why did the Prez/Mayor not know of this?

I guess the USAF is a bit strapped for cash not to have run a PR campaign before this little trip.

Not bright at all.
 

a_majoor

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"The One" really knows how to connect to people and stir their emotions......
 

DocBacon

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I don't think I could come up with a more potent symbol of fear and horror that a heavy transport jet flying low amongst the towers of NYC, except to maybe add a couple of fighter jets in close formation.

That the Obama braintrust would miss the obvious connection that the population of Manhattan would make with such an event is, sadly, not surprising to me.  Many of The One's advisers are ivory-tower types who simply don't think in terms of the effects their decisions will have on ordinary lives.
 

Jammer

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I don't think this was known at the White House level.
From what I understand this was a USAF driven activity.
 

rampage800

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Jammer

I think you need to re-read the article, it clearly states in there that the Mayors office was notified of the flypast and I would venture to guess that the White House knew about this as well. I highly doubt that the back-up plane to AF1 goes flying without the approval from the Presidents office in the first place.

You should probably be a little more careful when slagging the USAF as well, especially when talking in monetary terms, nobody seems to say that they're strapped for cash when they're dropping 25K GBU-12s in support of a Cdn TIC !!
 

cameron

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DocBacon said:
I don't think I could come up with a more potent symbol of fear and horror that a heavy transport jet flying low amongst the towers of NYC, except to maybe add a couple of fighter jets in close formation.

That the Obama braintrust would miss the obvious connection that the population of Manhattan would make with such an event is, sadly, not surprising to me.  Many of The One's advisers are ivory-tower types who simply don't think in terms of the effects their decisions will have on ordinary lives.
Thucydides said:
"The One" really knows how to connect to people and stir their emotions......

While it was a mistake to conduct an exercise like this over NYC and leave the public in the dark, with memories of 911 still so fresh, I find it interesting and amusing how quickly some Army.ca members are to jump all over an innocent mistake.  GWB did more than his fair share of stupid and mindless things during his presidency which some of you had no problem finding excuses for.
 

a_majoor

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cameron said:
While it was a mistake to conduct an exercise like this over NYC and leave the public in the dark, with memories of 911 still so fresh, I find it interesting and amusing how quickly some Army.ca members are to jump all over an innocent mistake.  GWB did more than his fair share of stupid and mindless things during his presidency which some of you had no problem finding excuses for.

Or:

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=ZTQyYjBiNjE4MzQxY2I1YzUyNjU1N2ZiYTMwMDk3ZDk=

Re: N.Y. Flyover Was "Felony Stupidity"  [Andy McCarthy]

K-Lo, Fran's right about "felony stupidity," of course, but I have to say I'm fascinated by how the media create distance between this truly outrageous administration behavior and President Obama, recently coronated by David Brooks as a remarkably "compentent manager" who has "run a tremendously effective, efficient managerial administration"  (Hat tip to Rush) — after 100 days marked by cabinet tax woes, "who hid the Geithner plan?", the apology tours, our national cowardice on race, the DHS secretary who is bird-dogging conservatives in search of the next man-caused disaster (when she isn't slandering Canada over 9/11), Iran and North Korea on the nuclear march, the State Department that can't translate "reset" into Russian, the redistribution by day and wagyu steak by night, the disclosure of interrogation tactics to our terrorist enemies (and coming soon, prisoner-abuse photos that even Democrats concede will increase the danger to our troops and our country), the 48-hour flip-floperoo on criminal investigations of Bush officials, etc., etc.

Now the Obama administration frightens the living daylights out of lower Manhattan — causing building evacuations by people who thought a second 9/11 was underway — just so they can have an Air Force One photo op (imagine the carbon footprint!) and it's like Obama had nothing to do with it.  If you read the news accounts, it's all Louis Caldera, who was summoned to the woodshed "to hear the President's displeasure" (as the WSJ put it) from Rahm Emanuel. Why do I think that if this had happened during the last administration, no one would know the name of the guy running the "White House Military Office"?
 

Jammer

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rampage800 said:
Jammer

I think you need to re-read the article, it clearly states in there that the Mayors office was notified of the flypast and I would venture to guess that the White House knew about this as well. I highly doubt that the back-up plane to AF1 goes flying without the approval from the Presidents office in the first place.

You should probably be a little more careful when slagging the USAF as well, especially when talking in monetary terms, nobody seems to say that they're strapped for cash when they're dropping 25K GBU-12s in support of a Cdn TIC !!
Thanks for the info about the financial woes of of the USAF and your insight about the CoC for the Presidential Air Wing.
Yeah I'm pretty familiar about what a bomb dropped by and F-16 or A-10 can do in support of a TIC.
I was alluding to the fact that the massive cost overruns of the F-22 and other big ticket projects are sapping the operational effectivness OVERALL.
It's pretty hard to fight TWO wars and still hold onto the technological edge you might like.

 

Jammer

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CDN Aviator said:
Why not ?

They did...read the news. The FAA knew too.

Did everyone in NY decide to panic and evacuate when that jet went into the Hudson ?
My apologies.
How dare I have a question or opinion.
I guess the oracle of the Air force has all the answers...
 
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aesop081

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Jammer said:
How dare I have a question or opinion.
I guess the oracle of the Air force has all the answers...

Brilliant response.

I'm not the oracle of the AF, i just read the articles in the news.
 

Jammer

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Sarcasm is a wonderful trait.
Seriously though, why would they use a VC-25 for a low level photo run just for PR reasons, with an F-16 in trail. I can understand why the locals would see this as a bit menacing
So everyone in the loop knew something or didn't know, whatever.
Why would this not be passed in newspaper adverts somewhat in the same manner the we do before a range goes live close to population concentrations.
 
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