One of President Barack Obama’s planes, escorted by two fighter jets, spread panic here Monday when they flew over New York at low altitude, triggering office evacuations in the city still scarred by the 9/11 attacks.
But the low-flying planes which buzzed parts of southern Manhattan and the Hudson River for about 30 minutes were out just for a Pentagon exercise.
“The presidential airlift group conducted an aerial photo in the New York city area today,” said US Air Force spokesman Major Richard Johnson.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) called the maneuver a “photo op.”
“The Defense Department is conducting a photo op that involves deploying two F-16s and escorting a military version of the Boeing 747″ close to lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty, FAA spokesman Jim Peters told AFP.
“The maneuver was not an emergency and was coordinated in advance with the FAA and state and local officials,” he added.