Military Jets Flying At Low Altitude Over Bermuda

June 24, 2016

[Updated] Two military jets have been flying low altitude circuits over Bermuda this evening [June 24] with conflicting information emerging over the matter.

Bermuda LF Wade International Airport sign generic (2)

A Police spokesperson said, “The Bermuda Police Service has received several calls from concerned members of the public regarding aircraft flying at low altitude over the island.

“‎After speaking with the Airport Duty Officer, it has been confirmed that the aircraft in question are two military jets that have permission from the Department of Civil Aviation to conduct low altitude circuits over Bermuda.”

Update June 25, 8.17am: A Civil Aviation spokesperson has now advised 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.”

Update 8.53am: A subsequent email from the Head of Operations at the Department of Civil Aviation about the “low flying French Air Force Falcon aircraft” said the Department “did not grant permissions for them to violate the Low Flying Rule of the Air” and apparently the information previously received is “erroneous.”

As we have the Police, citing the Airport Duty Officer, saying one thing and the Department of Civil Aviation saying another, we have asked both entities to provide full clarity and will update as able.

Update June 29:
For subsequent reports on this [it was the French Navy and they apologised for the disturbance] please click here.

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Comments (81)

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  1. Onion Juice says:

    And a LOT of private jets leaving too.

  2. Smh says:

    WE don’t have any military air jets. So who was flying over us and why were they given permission?????

    • sage says:

      Why did I know the first official report was total BS? Anyone got video?

  3. Plane Spotter says:

    One of the planes didn’t distinctly look military more like a private jet as it passed very low and close to my home.
    Maybe a public notice or warning to stop time wasting calls to 911 in the future.

    • Jonathan Dill says:

      It was a private jet. I clearly saw it a horseshoe bay flying at about 300ft above sea level heading east.

      • SpinCycle says:

        We saw a plane, what looked like a 6 – 8 window (fairly small) private jet off the South Shore in Devonshire, heading East at a very low altitude on Friday evening between 7-8pm. We noted that the altitude, made it look like it was in trouble.

  4. Family Man says:

    No need to worry; we have a highly trained Royal Bermuda Regiment to protect us from invasion in any case.

  5. Just wondering says:

    wouldn’t the time to tell us this be BEFORE they start low altitude flying rather than after??

  6. Positive Pessimist says:

    Well, thanks for letting us know in advance instead of having people worry that we were being invaded by Russia or something.

    • Level head says:

      Russia?? Seriously??! Bie stop ya noise! Got me cracking up!!!

    • reddamtibi says:

      Statistically a country has a greater chance of being invaded by the United States.

    • Sailboat says:

      Actually, they’re French jets. Keep up.

  7. Bermudainyouth says:


  8. Why says:

    What for? No explanation?

  9. ??? says:

    So no one could have warn people. It went right ovet my house. Thought plane missed runway. Can’t believe we pay these fools.

  10. Islander says:

    Public should have been made aware. Come on Minister!!!

  11. yes I says:

    I highly doubt Civil Aviation would have given them approval to conduct such an exercise. It served no purpose so it sounds like a bunch of pilots looking for some fun.

    • Pilot says:

      One flew past hundreds of people at Seabreeze on Elbow at 7.50 pm. No more than 200 feet above water and no more than 300 feet from the shore – passed inside the breakers. There are plenty of witnesses. The flying was foolhardy in the extreme.

      • Legalgal says:

        Oooooo lucky them. Miss those airshows like RIATT and Farnborough.

      • Enough says:

        I wonder exactly what they were doing:

    • Laurie says:

      I was on the NCL Breakaway and the jet flew over the ship four times as we left Bermuda. I have photos of it… and it looked like at least one passenger on the jet was taking photos of the ship. The aircraft was marked MARINE with the number 5 on its tail and nose, but that was all.

  12. OBSERVER says:

    …and the residents were not informed.
    Thank you so much Department of Aviation for your communicative skills used!!

  13. S.O.S. says:

    Thought it was going to crash when I saw it!!

  14. I am responding as Head of Operations at the Department of Civil Aviation. I wish to inform the public that we did NOT grant these jets permission to violate the Low Flying Rule of the Air. The minimum permitted altitude allowed is 500 feet above the ground, except when taking off or landing. We will be investigating a breach of the Air Navigation (Overseas Territories) Order.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Sure you are. Get back to us when you have an answer, OK?

  15. This just in…summer is officially here..two rather large longtails were spotted flying fairly low through out bda.

  16. Triangle Drifter says:

    Oh good grief! Is there nothing that we won’t complain about?

    So some planes make some low passes. Big deal! You hear it coming. That is your warnng. You see it go over. Well, that was unusual, but no big deal.

    • Brainiac says:

      No big deal? with all that’s taking place globally are you serious?? What an idiot!!

      • Pooh Bear says:

        Cop-on to yourself, will ya! Bermuda is about as consequential to current world events as a butterfly fart.

        • Say Whaat? says:

          Right because we aren’t in a great place to hide to strike the US. We are just pretty.

          Some people can’t see beyond their rose coloured glasses.

          • Charlie says:

            No, Say Whaat, you’re not a great place to hide. You’re a tiny fish in a very big pond. Some of us can see far beyond the ends our noses…. you should try it yourself sometime.

    • Smh says:

      So you don’t understand the importance of having planes fly over land at a certain height? Ok….

    • Half sleep says:

      The point is they were flying below the legal altitude, whether you care or not it still requires an explanation because it’s dangerous.

    • Legalgal says:

      Did the pilots have work permits? Really Bermy….enjoy the view. You got a free fly past.

      • Come Correct says:

        And if there were drones up? Drones are permitted up to 400ft. A drone being sucked into a turbine would bring that jet down. That may not just be the lives of the pilots in danger then. Think!

  17. High road says:

    It was a couple of airplanes flying in a manner different from normal! Get over it people!

  18. MIG Fulcrum says:

    so what. like its a big issue, planes fly, air forces practice, in the long term its for the benefit of all if the buttons get pushed.

  19. Brandon says:

    So how can a thing like this happen ? New York ATC which controls the airspace over and around this Island extending up to 180 – 200 miles beyond our shores should’ve known about this and I’m very sure they’ve had knowledge of such an incident happening over our skies and GOV’T should demand answers from NY ATC as to this security breach it’s unacceptable for things like this to happen without any kind of advance warning. It needs to be investigated without hesitation it could’ve been worst for the entire Island.

    • Level head says:

      Our tower is a non radar tower so it most likely would not have been able to detect the aircraft before hand. Also I’m sure BDA ATC would not have given permission either.

  20. ST says:

    It didn’t look like a military plane and it flew so low and close all along the south shore. It looked like it was going to crash.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      How does it “look like it was going to crash”? Did it look uncontrolled flying in an erratic manner?

    • Smith says:

      Might have did a drop. Now back to Columbia :)

      • LOL says:

        Ummmm… If you meant the country, it’s spelled Colombia. Very common mistake.

    • MIG Fulcrum says:

      good pilot

  21. Fluffy says:

    Permission not granted. .hmm…

  22. San George says:

    Another disease of the rich. Maybe we should have another referendum on this matter? Plane was flying 50ft above the water in St. George area. It has been reported to the OBA – now what are they going to do?

  23. Ed Case says:

    After our performance this week, maybe the plane was looking for any sign of intelligent life.

  24. hmmm says:

    Was not high speed.

  25. Bermy says:

    Not usually one to complain but the jet went past a house I was working at on South Shore in Smiths and from our position we were actually looking down on the jet, well below the 500 feet minimum. It was an accident waiting to happen especially at levels easily reached by cheap drones and at a time of day when visibility is not great.

    • The Boomvang says:

      NOT LIKELY. The HIGHEST point of land in Bermuda is not 300feet abs. God help the people of the house you were working on

  26. Pete says:

    The aircraft was a corporate Dassault Falcon 900. Certainly no rules were busted as the controlled airspace is down 500 feet. flight was in all purpose legal.

    • sage says:

      Official update says french military falcon, witnesses say fighter jet and private jet, we will most likely never find out the truth, as usual.

      • Legalgal says:

        It would be French. The French recon. Vessel just arrived this afternoon in Dockyard.

  27. Terry says:

    Just one or two of those millionares getting their rocks off prior to the AC events.
    They either departed or landed.
    Their tail numbers will provide everything if this time and date is investigated correctly.

  28. Terry says:

    As an addendum the USS Wasp is sailing by on it’s way to the Med.

    Nothing positive yet to say whether they were Marine/Navy jets by local observers.

  29. Spectator says:

    It wasn’t a military plane. It was all white with no tail fins/rudders, etc. Looked more like a drone. What do they NOT want us to know?! Think for yourselves people…

  30. JR Smith says:

    totally unacceptable the manner in which the pilots were flying over Bermuda for 2-3 hours with no explanation from the authorities.

  31. Second says:

    Passed overhead going towards Somerset Long Bay. It was not a military plane!

    • Level head says:

      It was a French military aircraft. Not a fighter jet. The military frequently use private jets to suit their needs. They operate in the marine section.

  32. Fred says:

    This was not a military plane it was clearly a private jet that did not look in full control of itself. Saw it with my own eyes

  33. betty says:

    Agree it was scary we saw it full view its was not a military plane

  34. betty says:

    Agree it was scary we saw it full view its was not a military plane these ppl need to be done for this. Who’s knows what’s on their agenda i don’t trust it .

  35. Need Peace says:

    What happened to the explanation of the incident last month where Sandys residents reported an explosion in the west end. How could these things be happening without proper explanations. There are serious implications here. Why is everyone non chalant about it? Something is going on here!!!

    • Cirious says:

      Yes something is seiously going on. Latest labor statistics. More Bermudians beong let go and more foreigners beong hired

  36. JUNK YARD DOG says:

    Have a professional repair all roof cracks.
    Don’t use any sticky quick fix stuff on Bermuda slate roof.

    Prepare crack grove.

    Gently hack out a 1/2″ x 1/2″ vee “V”.
    Cement wash crack “V” .
    Fill crack “V”.

    4 sand
    1 lime
    1 cement

    Brush over area with cement wash.
    Cover repair with old wet towels.

  37. Cirious says:

    Everytime we election/voting/ protest mysteriously British war ship and helicopters show up as if we are planning a revolution or something.

    • coolm8 says:

      Every time Bermuda (British Overseas Territories) have an election and or protest.The governor can exercise this right (to have this mysterious British Warship station on the Island) to defend unlawful event under Her Majesty the Queen. Second Bermudian are British so….what the f#@% you knobhead on about.

  38. TXKF3264 says:

    The aircraft flying around are French Navy Falcon 50 aircraft, which are used for maritime surveillance. They have been here for the past 2 weeks conducting training during the day and night. Take a drive down to Cedar Aviation in St. Davids and you will see them parked there. No need to complain people there are more important things to focus on besides low flying aircraft.

    • Terry says:

      Well someone is lying.
      The person above who said they were not authorized and others that said they were civilian.

      Another day on the rock.

    • sage says:

      So why is the truth so elusive? The french military is conducting training/maritime surveillance day and night for the last two weeks without permission and that is ok with you and a few more blanks on this thread? Go back to sleep.

    • Filthy Rich says:

      I was on the NCL Breakaway that left Bermuda on the 24th at 3pm. Just after we got outside the reef, the ship was buzzed 3 times a plane. First pass the plane was going right for the bridge and swerved away. The last 2 passes it flew very close to the port side of the ship. I just googled the French Navy Falcon 50 and the pictures are exactly what buzzed the ship. Scary as hell. Someone should have notified us.

  39. Terry says:

    Wait until next year when the AC starts.

    Your all gonna be drone out and they will fall from the sky.

    (hopefully over water)

  40. Breakaway Passenger says:

    The private looking jet buzzed our cruise ship 4 times from all 4 approaches in a matter of 10 minutes or less. It was troubling that we weren’t offered a warning or an explanation after the fact. We had disembarked Bermuda about an hour earlier heading back to New York. Being buzzed by what looked like a private jet in international waters was very scary and should not be allowed. If this in fact was sanctioned by someone they should be relieved of their position. If not the pilot should not fly again.

    • Filthy Rich says:

      I hear ya. I asked many crew members about what happened and they were all acting evasive. One guy in a blue uniform even said “if there was an issue, the company will send out an announcement.” I anxiously await the post cruise survey.

    • Laurie says:

      We were on the ship, too. Not much marking the jet other than MARINE and the number 5 on its tail and nose. We, too, asked ship staff and were given the reply of, “I didn’t see it.” You didn’t have to see it to know it was there… and if you didn’t look after hearing it, that’s not very reassuring.
      I took some photos from my balcony and it looked like at least one passenger of the jet was taking photos as well.

  41. Fred says:

    Is it CIA ?

  42. Hi says:

    Like several Air Forces the French use small passenger jets (that could be confused as private jets) to move people around.

  43. Susan G says:

    Traveling to BDA via cruise ship from Boston ,Ma.
    With all that’s going on across the world and the news I have been reading about in regards to these unidentifiable low flying aircraft , are me and my families safety a concern ? Has the government done anything about it ??
    We love BDA and are returning after several years . Hopefully we will come to enjoy and have a safe return to Boston .
    Than you