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Air Force One Manhattan Flyover Pictures Released

By Ed O'Keefe

One of the 146 images released by the Air Force of the late April flight taken by Air Force One over Manhattan (Courtesy of the U.S. Air Force)

Responding to a Freedom of Information Act request submitted by other news organizations, the Air Force released Friday 146 images from April's ill-fated Air Force One flyover of Manhattan.

The incident involved a Boeing 747 jet used to transport President Obama and two accompanying Air Force fighter jets that circled Lower Manhattan, near where two commercial airliners struck the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. The site of low-flying planes in the vicinity sparked a citywide panic and angry reactions from Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other New York officials.

The White House later apologized, as did Louis Caldera, director of the White House Military Office, who approved the flyover.

"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," Caldera said in a statement.

Days later, Caldera resigned.

The Air Force also released reams of e-mails, memos and other supporting documents related to the incident, including news articles recounting the outrage expressed by lawmakers and New York City officials and images of the approved flight plans.

Click to see the 146 images of Air Force One over Manhattan

By Ed O'Keefe  | July 31, 2009; 4:16 PM ET
Categories:  Administration  
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The photos really highlight the stupidity of this mission. Except for some shots of the Statue of Liberty, the photos are simply of the plane or planes, with undetailed urban areas in some of them. They could have been taken anywhere. If the photos were taken in the same sequence as displayed, there were two overflights of the Statue, and thus of lower Manhattan, making clearer why this was upsetting to many people. You can go in any bookstore and find better aerial photos in any number of books and calendars. Thanks to all those who helped make public this pointless exercise.

Posted by: h22com | August 1, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Well thought out mission fellas... I can hear it now: "Let's fly AF1 over New York City at low altitude with a couple of escort Jets."
One would think at this point, someone in the room would say; "Um, Sir... but?"
No; it would appear that the response was "What a fantastic idea!"
Has the Whitehouse ever heard of Photoshop?
Again, great plan fellas.

Posted by: powersiege | August 3, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

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