- Screen grab via Twitter user @ethanklapper
A military plane that flew over Manhattan on Tuesday afternoon briefly caused widespread confusion as New Yorkers wondered why the aircraft was circling so low over the city.
A spokesman for the FAA told Business Insider in a statement that the C-130 spotted overhead was “conducting authorized flights over New York City in coordination with FAA air traffic control.”
Col. Nicholas Broccoli of the 160th Rescue Wing added to The Washington Post that the plane was simply carrying out “standard military training.”
Aviation writer Jason Rabinowitz, however, said on Twitter that it is “not normal” for military aircraft to circle so low over Manhattan.
New Yorkers turned to Twitter to wonder what the C-130 was doing:
— Sasha Moses (@sashamoses76) December 13, 2016
Some are loaded with electronic surveillance equipment. Deeply weird.
— Dan Murphy (@bungdan) December 13, 2016
A video of the plane that’s been circling Manhattan pic.twitter.com/Bsj5ANEeW1
— Alp Ozcelik (@alplicable) December 13, 2016
The C-130 has departed Manhattan skies and, still, nobody has any idea what it was doing. pic.twitter.com/YrQUtUKC78
— Lance Ulanoff (@LanceUlanoff) December 13, 2016
Matt Hardigree, executive editor of publishing partnerships at Gizmodo Media, speculated on Twitter that perhaps the military exercise was in relation to setting up increased security around Trump Tower.
A C-130 is a pretty mundane aircraft by military standards, but if you were to test sensors put up on a Tower of sorts… pic.twitter.com/zecajazH3A
— MattHardigree (@MattHardigree) December 13, 2016
While it was not clear exactly what exercise the aircraft was carrying out, the New York Police Department appeared initially unaware of it.
An NYPD spokesperson later told a WCBS journalist that he would “have to call either the Secret Service or the military” for more information on the exercises.
A spokesperson for the Air National Guard did not respond return a request for comment.