The pilot radioed in that he saw a small, unmanned aircraft flying about four to five miles west of the airport at an altitude of about 1,500 feet, according to a statement by a FAA spokeswoman.
No evasive action was taken by the pilot of the jet and he landed safely at JFK. Other pilots were warned by air-traffic controllers of the possible drone sighting but radioed in that they did not see it.
New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has recently stated he was interested in using drones in law enforcement but the NYPD said they knew nothing about any drone flights on Monday.
Several reports point to the possibility that the pilot mistook a recreational remote-controlled model aircraft for a drone. Some of these “toy” aircrafts can look very similar to Predator drones used by the U.S military and can reach altitudes greater than 1,500 feet.
The FAA allows these recreational aircrafts to be flown up to 400 feet in the air and requires the operator to notify air traffic controllers if flying within 3 miles of an airport.
The FBI is requesting the public’s help in the drone investigation.“The FBI is asking anyone with information about the unmanned aircraft or the operator to contact us,” said Special Agent in Charge John Giacalone.