Having the FAA and the presidential airlift group conduct an aerial photo mission over Manhattan, complete with an F16 in tow, is about as dumb, thoughtless, irrational, idiotic, and insensitive a thing as I have heard in quite some time. Not alerting the public in advance pushes that stupidity to unprecedented levels.
John Leitner, a floor trader at the New York Mercantile Exchange Building, said about 1,000 people "went into a total panic" and ran out of the building around 10 a.m. after seeing the planes whiz by their building, near the World Trade Center site.
Sen. Charles Schumer blasted the FAA for the lack of warning.
"This was a photo shoot. There was no need for surprise," Schumer said. "There was no need to scare thousands of New Yorkers who still have the vivid memory of 9/11."
Louis Caldera, who heads the White House Military Office, issued a statement apologizing. "I approved a mission over New York," he said. "While federal authorities took the proper steps to notify state and local authorities in New York and New Jersey, it's clear that the mission created confusion and disruption. I apologize and take responsibility for any distress that flight caused."
Sorry, I'm just hyper-sensitive to stuff like this, having been in NYC on 9/11.