It's rare to see things flying outside your airplane window. A far-off craft, a flock of birds—whatever else is zooming through the clouds at high speeds is going to feel a little dangerous. So when an Alitalia pilot made his final approach into New York's JFK airport on Monday afternoon, he was certainly startled to see another little plane flying near by. Here's an excerpt of the resulting talk with the air traffic controller:
JFK controller: Uh, what did you see?
Alitalia pilot: We saw a drone, a drone aircraft.
JFK controller: What altitude did you see that aircraft?
Alitalia pilot: About 1,500 feet.
Within an hour, the Federal Bureau of Investigation issued request for the public's help in finding the drone's operator. To the bureau's credit, they chose not to repeat the Alitalia pilot's "drone" designation, choosing instead to go with the slightly less militaristic "unmanned aircraft." Nobody called it a "model airplane."
The FBI is still looking for the miniature UFO. "The FBI is investigating the incident and looking to identify and locate the aircraft and its operator," reads a press release. "The unnamed aircraft was described as black in color and no more than three feet wide with four propellers."