Video: Airplane Flying Close To Cruise Ship

June 28, 2016

[Updated] Following our report of two military jets flying low altitude circuits over Bermuda on Friday, a video has been posted online said to show a jet flying past the Norwegian Breakaway on the same day, with the person who uploaded the video saying “it wasn’t normal” and “most were completely terrified.”

A Cruise Fever story says, “Passengers on last week’s Norwegian Breakaway cruise received a scare on June 24 when an airplane flew extremely close to the cruise ship during a military training exercise.

“A passenger on Norwegian Breakaway, Richard Ogle, filmed the video from the Sundeck [Deck 18] of the Dassault Falcon 50 flyby during a training exercise and posted it.”

Screenshot taken from video:

Norwegian Breakaway Plane Screenshot (2)

The video description said, “I have no idea what his intentions were, but I guarantee we all didn’t like it.

“Whoever was the pilot of the Falcon, was either a terrorist who was spying on us, marine training, or a dumba** rich dude who’s showing off his new aircraft.

Screenshot taken from video:

Norwegian Breakaway Plane Screenshot (1)

“I don’t know what the true answer is but I know that it wasn’t normal and more than likely illegal for anything to be flying that close to a ship, especially four times in a row.

“Either way, nobody was hurt, but most were completely terrified, and I hope everybody is ok.”

Video posted by Richard Ogle:

The story goes on to reference the original Bernews post stating that police received several calls from concerned members of the public about the the low altitude of the planes.

The video, while not confirmed by any official sources, does follow after numerous reports from locals on Friday, with multiple people reporting seeing a low flying plane across the island.

A Civil Aviation spokesperson confirmed the jets were flying over the island, saying that “Civil Aviation did not issue any permission to the operators of these jets to conduct any low flying high speed flights around the island. This matter is being looked into by Civil Aviation.”

The Department of Civil Aviation referred to them as “low flying French Air Force Falcon aircraft”, adding that the Department “did not grant permissions for them to violate the Low Flying Rule of the Air.”

Update 11.34pm: We have reached out to officials for more information, and as the Department of Civil Aviation referred to them as French Air Force aircraft, it is may be worth noting we have had a French Naval Ship in and out of Bermuda recently.

The Bermuda Maritime Operations Centre confirmed that a French Naval ship was in Bermuda from June 17-18th, then back at 8am on June 24th and left that evening, and then was back again on the 25th, and left on the 27th.

The Bermuda Shipping schedule [PDF] lists a ship named “FNS Monge” as being in Bermuda, and according to various websites the Monge is a French Naval ship.

Photos of the ship in the Dockyard area:

French navy in Bermuda June 2016 (1)

French navy in Bermuda June 2016 (2)

Update June 29, 5.45pm: The Government released a statement confirming that a French naval aircraft “conducted a low altitude pass over the Island,” and said it “had earlier made several low level passes alongside the departing Norwegian Breakaway Cruise ship while still within Bermuda territorial waters.”

Update 7.54pm: The French Navy Falcon crew have apologised for any “disturbance experienced by the general public as a result of the aircraft training activity of last Friday,” saying it was not “their intention to cause any disturbance”.

“We understand that some Bermuda residents and visitors, in particular some cruise ship passengers, may have been surprised or scared, and for this we sincerely apologise,” the Captain said. Full statement here.

Update 9.28pm: The aircraft flying close to the cruise ship was briefly shown on ABC news:

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Comments (81)

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  1. JR Smith says:

    so whats being done by the “officials” here to explain this incident and to insure that this doesn’t happen again..

    • Viking Quest says:

      I don’t know, please go on.

    • What do you suggest says:

      No one can ensure anything. If a pilot wants to do ignorance he will do it. All that can be done is an investigation and report to FAA or whoever for next steps. We don’t have an air force where we can scramble jets if someone goes below a certain flight level. Come on now.

      • Time Shall Tell says:

        Every plane has a registry number, every plane has a flight plan, you know who the guilty pilot is & you know his destination. There is no need to “scramble jets” after him, he can’t stay in the sky forever & there are laws that can be enforced for such situations.

        Truth be told though, something is really off about this whole story. First we are informed that two fighter jets where given permission to do low fly flight maneuvers over the island. However eye witness testimony state it wasn’t military but a private civilian jet which is backed up by this provided video. So was this a private jet being flown by military personnel & why would permission be granted for such antics? Was the captain of the cruise ship given forewarning of this fly by & if he was than why didn’t he inform the passengers? With the events of 911 not too far gone, you have to wonder what was going through those passengers minds to see such a low flying plane flying right at them.

        • Bonnie Sullivan says:

          I was on the top deck and very scared! The employees on the ship claimed not to see it or know anything about it cause we asked multiple workers about it!

    • Ainley says:

      Exactly what I was thinking! Took the words right out of my mouth.

    • Brainiac says:

      I didn’t know that military jets have PASSENGER WINDOWS!?!?

  2. Brian says:

    Very very naughty, someone’s in a little bit of trouble.

  3. Preview says:

    I could defintely see why someone would be concerned. Quite cool if you were expecting it. Not so cool if you weren’t. Think these have a $40 million + price tag. Wonder where they flew out from and where they wer going? They land in BDA?

  4. Spider says:

    Please leave the good doctor alone. Enough is enough. He’s not even on the ship

  5. Tom Cooke says:

    I think.. in the old days … the order would have been.
    ..FIRE AS YOUR GUNS BEAR…!!!

  6. Allium Cepa says:

    Someone is flying their privilege in our faces.

    • Come Correct says:

      You’re a twat-waffle. One of the only ways this could be privilege is if rich daddy bought his pilot son/daughter a jet. This was apparently a “military exercise”. We won’t know and nobody will be held accountable. Why? Because that’s how Bermuda works.

  7. cruise390 says:

    Absolutely ridiculous and irresponsible. Looks dangerous to me. Poor airmanship. Wonder if ships’ captain was advised beforehand ? Someone should have to answer for this kind of stunt.

    • Safe bet says:

      Well we can all agree it’s not bermudians

  8. Fluffy says:

    Americas Cup coming up. Much international attention!! Ijs…

  9. the rubbish rubbisher ! says:

    hmmmmppph…. this ish is giving bad people ideas !

  10. sage says:

    Well theres a video, but didn’t witnesses say 2 jets over land, Civil Aviation refers to “these jets”? That is certainly way less than 500 ft. Why Has Baron not made a peep as National Security Minister? Don’t tell me he was aboard.

    • mmmm says:

      It’s not his job… This didn’t happen in Bermuda it happened somewhere out in the Atlantic while the ship was en route to Bermuda.

      • sage says:

        Man you are stupid, the plane(s) flew all around the island too try keeping up. It is absolutely Barons’ job. Maybe Cannonier and DaCosta bummed a ride.

  11. Mav says:

    Tower, this is ghost rider requesting a flyby. Negative, ghost rider, the pattern is full.

  12. iabingi says:

    Drones are taking over, what’s left for a fighter pilot to do ?

  13. Doug says:

    strange that the Breakaway should have been well to sea when this video is time stamped.

    7-day round-trip to Round-trip New York from New York City
    Sun Jun 19 04:00pm (New York City, departing),
    Wed Jun 22 08:00am to Fri Jun 24 03:00pm (Kings Wharf)
    Sun Jun 26 08:00am (New York City, arrive)

    • Channel surfer says:

      You do know that they have to sail down the channel first before going out to sea?!? You can’t sail through the reefs. Times perfectly with their 1500 departure on 24th.

      • Filthy Rich says:

        Exactly, Channel Surfer. I was on that cruise ship. Happened shortly after the harbor pilot left the ship. Pretty scarey.

    • mmmm says:

      They are, watch the video, no Bermuda in sight.

  14. Enough says:

    Well my input would be Bermuda radar is not working and how convenient to fly in undetected down south shore and then turn and go back out to sea and gone . Drug drop if ever I saw one. Wake up people, military aircraft my foot. So whose trying to hide something

    • Jolly says:

      The Monge is a pretty sensitive ship – I am confident the flyby is related. The question is why the Monge is here – was it tracking submarine missile launches or coming back from a Arianespace launch in Guyana?

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Huge LOL @ all the drug drop theorists ..

      Oh yeah , let me see now , I know ! Me and my ace boy will fly to Bermuda to drop a few hundred keys in our high visibility jets that have no ports or hatches that can be opened up in flight AND we’ll buzz the island multiple times at super low altitude just to get everyone’s attention in broad daylight .
      Then we’ll buzz a cruise ship a few times as well just to make sure that even they knew we were making a drop .

      hahaha

      (I’m trying to figure out exactly when critical thinking on this became extinct)

  15. More to come says:

    I guess when you have money you are above the law and can do what ever you want. When is the Americas Cup again?

  16. smh says:

    Military jets flying lower than 500 feet like they own the place. NATIONAL SECURITY MY ***!!!!!! Where is the minister now?? Hello

  17. mixitup says:

    Exactly my thoughts – Drug Drop.

    • Pair-a-Docks says:

      drug drop in front of thousands of witnesses that are clearly in front of you on a giant boat you can’t miss? I guess you proved your intelligence is flickering low.

  18. Really? says:

    We’ll never get an answer. In time people will just forget and no one will face any consequences for this nonsense! This would NEVER be allowed in the United States so why is it allowed here? Complete utter foolish and reckless behavior and if they crashed they’d want local Bermudians to go out there and help them right? That’s if they would even survive a crash.

    • Portia says:

      It is ridiculous, but it actually HAS been happening in the U.S. too. Last month there were several news reports of residents across the country being disturbed by low-flying, noisy aircraft that appeared to be doing military exercises. No one really seems to know what’s going on, and the authorities weren’t saying much. So it seems it’s not just Bermuda.

  19. Doug says:

    Drug drop? LOL! wow

  20. Doug says:

    could have been a groupama spy mission

  21. UmJustSayiing says:

    Mev is the u ?

  22. Reading purposes says:

    This was an exercise for pilots of the French marines/Air Force, basically flying an aircraft at low altitudes for flight training… The government didn’t know about it but air traffic control did because they gave them the ok to take off and proceed with their training

    • hadenough says:

      I SAW IT WITH MY OWN EYS AND IT WENT VERY LOW DOWN SOUTH SHORE THEN TURNED AND WENT OUT TO SEA AND WAS GONE IT CERTAINLY WAS NOTY JUST LANDING. OPE YOUR EYES GUYS

  23. no love says:

    Anyone that calls that a military exercise is foolish. Nothing military about that. Either a drug/gun drop or a rich a$$hole.

    • Eagles eye says:

      Maybe the pilots saw the way locals ride on the roads and figured they can fly the same way!

    • FML says:

      believe it or this was a military exercise. F50′s are the French military. Google ‘Exocet’

      • Think About It says:

        I just googled “exocet” and the plane that flew right past us all on South Shore at a very low altitude, looked nothing like the exocet.

  24. Micro says:

    The craft made a series of high speed touch and go landings, banking hard to the north over Ferry Reach a couple hundred feet off the ground each time. It made quite a few runs before being interrupted by the arrival of British Airways, at which point it broke off and headed down south shore returning a short while later and did several more passes along the runway.

  25. Grizz says:

    Well CLEARLY, Civil Aviation don’t have a clue what’s going on either. All those statements and not one CONFIRMS anything about the aircraft; Confirming that a French Naval ship was here does nothing to appease the uneasiness that people feel! SMH, if someone was out spying or targeting Bermuda WE WOULDN’T HAVE A CLUE! what’s the point of even having a Ministry of Security…WHAT THE HELL DO THEY SECURE?! Oh right, Cabinet Office!
    Honestly, this is embarrassing

  26. Everything is a conspiracy says:

    Omg having seen and heard the plane land in st David’s, with men wearing camouflage on the tarmac across from pizza house get the notion out of your heads that this was some private jet. It was not a rich person doing stunts. So now that it’s not a rich person the idea of a drug or arms drop in broad daylight is hilarious. People get off of the television.

  27. Dee says:

    We were in a friends garden South Shore, Paget on Friday evening when a small aircraft with pale blue and white livery flew past at great speed and VERY low. Really startled every one present. It was so low that we actually were convinced we were going to hear a crash. My husband, ex military, is adamant this was not a military aircraft.

  28. simonsays says:

    Ummm what type of military jet was this again? And if it is why are they cleared for training around bermuda? Ijs

  29. Mr. Meoff says:

    Those aren’t military jets, they are private Cessna jets. Military Jets always have country insignia ie. Air Force, RAF and the like. Someone is trying to pull the wool over our eyes.

    • Donna says:

      Actually, the two jets in question are at Cedar Aviation. I took a look & the word ‘Marine’ is written on the jet engines along with a red & blue insignia. They are identical & do look a little different than the usual private jets that frequent the island. I did not notice any other identification markings, i.e. country flag. I would go with the fact that they are NOT corporate or private jets, but military. It’s possible that, like Police vehicles, they have unmarked aircraft, i.e. non-camouflage.

      Now, can someone please give a definitive answer as to why they were performing their exercises in Bermuda airspace? Better still, why wasn’t the public properly informed? If the emergency services feel it necessary to inform the public when they are going to do exercises with the airport or the hospital so as to NOT cause public alarm, then why was this not done this time? Especially when you’re talking about high speed / low-flying aircraft! In this day when fanatics are doing the most insane things to gain attention – locations are increasingly growing worldwide! Gone are the days that one can say ‘never in Bermuda’, just take a look at the shootings. We cannot afford to be complacent or do things the ‘Bermuda’ way – responding only in crisis mode! We have to learn to be pro-active in all matters. We just need to look at trends in other countries and make appropriate preparations to either prevent or minimize the impact. Just sayin….

    • Doug says:

      this statement is false. Not all military aircraft are marked as such.

  30. Cranberry says:

    All of you need to get a life… Nothing happened… Absolutely nothing happened here…

  31. takbir Sharrieff says:

    Be concerned when its an enemy airplane ,until then go back to eating your hot dogs and drinking your coke.

  32. Pair-a-Docks says:

    No training involves flying commercial craft near thousands of lives on a cruise ship, nor does it involve flying that close to water. You have an ocean around you. You need to have a powerful jet to do that not some wimpy plane. This fruit loop could have nosedived into the ocean in front of everyone. also everyone on the boat was probably thinking it was ISIS or some kooks come to blow them up, nice end to a trip, eh?

  33. They came close to take your attention away from the alien spacecraft off in the distance.

  34. ron,b says:

    targeting expats

  35. Triangle Drifter says:

    Oh good grief! So a civilian plane buzzes a non military ship. Big deal! It provides something for the passengers to see & tell a story about.

    Go find something more important to make silly comments & complain about.

    • Really? says:

      You’re really stupid aren’t you? This is what your third time saying this? I’ll give you the attention you’re clearly seeking.

  36. Terry says:

    Just the FAA testing the radar/s

    Relax.

  37. oh dear says:

    All within the same time period, Bermuda experienced a French Missile tracking ship within our shores, two French military aircraft – and an Air France passenger jet aircraft landing at the airport. How exciting – and that together with the Brexit and the ‘marriage’ referendums.!! A Commission of Enquiry is richly deserved.

  38. sna says:

    One of our famous island friends has a three engine Dassault Falcon that looks very similar. This person respects Bermuda though and would never do something so risky to plane passengers, the pilots, cruise ship passengers or people on the ground.

  39. Oh the stories says:

    If all the know it all would just use common sense and google. Google French military dassault falcon, you will clearly see the military jet look like a private jet with windows and has the word MARINE with a bullseye emblem on the side. Guess what else, it was here for a whole week parked down in the private jet section since last Tuesday.

    Oh and that mysterious sonic boom eveyone heard up the west end last month. When the RAF squadron left, they left behind one typhoon which had mechanical problem. It was parked down at the airport for over a month. The very next morning after the “sonic boom”, I saw him go up and do a test flight and come back. Its not as complicated as everyone makes it out to be. Likley he went up in the evening and went supersonic while doing flight test. But that just makes too much sense.

    • sage says:

      So why has Baron not come out and made a photo op/ statement detailing the facts?

    • Really? says:

      The point of the story is why are they flying so low and so dangerously. What country and what the jet actually looks like is really irrelevant in the grand scheme but thanks for clearing that up, know it all.

  40. TXKF3264 says:

    The aircraft are Dassault Falcon 50s operated by the French Navy used for maritime surveillance. Just google it and you will see. Military aircraft stop in Bermuda almost every week. Yesterday an Algerian Air Force C130 flew in and last week the USAF and Egyptian Air Force were here. No big deal, remember we are a British colony, a member of NATO.

  41. Commodore JB of BBIRYC says:

    This is the proverbial storm in a teacup – or as I prefer, storm in a wine glass! I often instruct the pilot of my personal Boeing 767-33A to perform stunts such as barrel rolls when I have my mother in law aboard. The look on her face is priceless. Also, we have buzzed famous landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House, the Taj Mahal and the Eiffel Tower numerous times. All the fines in the world haven’t dampened the enjoyment I get when flying 30 feet away from these famous landmarks. Since 9/11, I have avoided such antics in the USA though.

  42. Bomon from born says:

    I would dally that weapon just like that there too bie hear me

  43. Faith moss says:

    There is no limit over the water. Bermuda used to be restricted to all over land. flights, don’t know but assume that is still true, but over the ocean no problem.

  44. warwick pond skink says:

    I guess we have all lost the enjoyment of watching an air plane fly by really close!!!
    Nearly as exciting as having an AC45 sail by me at 40kts. Suppose I need to freak out and request Harbour Rd. investigate.

    Lighten up and relax people, this is not Mosul…

  45. Tinkerbell says:

    Pilots in low flying jets are hot. That’s a no brainer

  46. Chris says:

    I really don’t see where this is a problem. The jet was at least 1000 feet away from the ship. And if something had failed on the jet (or it crashed), it would not have hit to ship.

    • Bonnie Sullivan says:

      I was on the top deck and it was very scary and closer than you think!!!

  47. Bonnie Sullivan says:

    I was on the top deck of the cruise ship when this happened and it scared the hell out of me! In today’s world this is NOT funny! I seriously was thinking terrorism!!! What better way to take out 5000 Anericans at one time!!

  48. Kristin says:

    I called the United States direct tip line thanks to having ability to use my phone and military spousal contacts, was told two stories that were false. Ship owned by U.K. Royal Navy f16s should have been there within max 15 mins and no one. Military or permitted flyby approached under radar and kept under Randar by a private Lear jet is neither military or permitted footage as evidenced by the intent to fly feet within the top children’s water slide deck also we may have been in dead zone which is a target. Was told by other passengers that our military did escort us and did fly bys the whole journey back to New York.

    • Kristin says:

      In addition being the ship was U.K. Owned it was
      The week they dropped out of the economy..