UPDATE: Earlier, unsubstantiated reports have now been confirm by CTP Watcher. The event was a photoshoot of two F/A-18 Hornets based at Lemoore Naval Air Station. The jets are a part of the US Navy McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornets of VFA-25 "Fist of the Fleet."
At around 5:25pm, a small Beechcraft A36 Bonanza propeller plane made odd turns and loops around large swaths of Marin & some parts of San Francisco, including the Golden Gate Bridge. The plane was reported to be flanked by two fighter jets, likely F/A-18 Hornets, according to an aviation enthusiasts who spoke with SFist.
Moments ago-2x US Navy McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornets of VFA-25 "Fist of the Fleet" based at Naval Air Station Lemoore passed over San Jose after doing a photo shoot near the Golden Gate Bridge with N4519S. Big thanks to @pablofe for the heads up that they were in the area! pic.twitter.com/WHWM8vxJLa— CTP Watcher ✈️ (@WatcherCtp) October 23, 2020
The three planes came thundering over the Richmond District of San Francisco, causing some concern and confusion. Standing in doorways around the neighborhood, residents and families stared at the skies in hopes to connect the sounds with a glimpse of the strange event.
One Twitter user, @AustinHeap, asked, “Anyone able to confirm the fighter jets in San Francisco are scrambled?”
Video of the jets pic.twitter.com/ZB3YQT8DKy— sjampol (@sjampol) October 23, 2020
Does anyone know why the US military is flying jets over San Francisco right now?— Ben Williams (@biwills) October 23, 2020
The unnerving - and remarkably loud - flight was seen on real-time worldwide flight traffic tracker Flight Aware, among other similar services, but earlier reports suggested and others have confirmed that it was a part of filming for a promotional video or photo shoot. An image of the plane, tail number N4519S, seems to support the theory that this is somehow related to one of the movies currently being filmed in San Francisco, including Marvel's Shang-Chi.
|Photo Courtesy of FlightAware.com|
The Beechcraft propeller plane later returned to an airport in Sonoma, then flew south of San Francisco.