The Navy is investigating an unnamed F/A-18 Super Hornet pilot for possibly violating FAA regulations after buzzing the northern California college town of Berkeley, California, Navy Times reported.
On Tuesday, the lone pilot out of Naval Air Station Lemoore flew over the University of California campus at at an altitude of roughly 2,500 to 3,000 feet during a training flight, according to a spokesman. On local news site Berkeleyside however, Caleb Linden told the site the jet looked like it "was flying about 300-500 feet off the ground."
CBS Local has more:
One observer reported the jet as low as 300-500 feet. While radar indicated the plane only dipped to 2500 feet, it should be noted that the Berkeley Hills rise 1754 feet –which could put the pilot closer to the ground than first reported depending on when he began his ascent out of Berkeley's airspace. UC Berkeley's campus is mostly below 500 feet, with some buildings higher up on the hill.
While the altitude of the plane was a point of debate, the Navy told CBS the pilot was on a "familiarization flight" that required looking outside the plane, rather than relying on instruments. That didn't stop some witnesses from losing their minds on social media and elsewhere.
What in the heck was that roaring jet noise over Berkeley just now? Did Dick Cheney just do a flyover? @berkeleyside
— Steven Fruhmoto (@StevenFruhmoto) January 27, 2015
— John (@Neopifex) January 27, 2015
Fighter jet flying low as hell and LOUD as hell just woke up the baby. Also why is there a fighter jet in Berkeley?! @berkeleyside
— Jeannie Choe (@jeajea) January 27, 2015
— #Berkeley (@Quirkeley) January 27, 2015