Update: 05/12 09:19 a.m.
A netizen surnamed Huang (黃) told CNA Tuesday evening that the "man wearing a jetpack" was actually a life-size iron man balloon, which he spotted in the sky in Taichung last week. Meanwhile, National Tsing Hua University professor Hsu Wen-kuang (徐文光) also said the flying object in the video is unlikely a man with a jetpack since the device would emit really loud noise.
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A video of a mysterious man flying in the sky over Taichung has attracted considerable attention after it surfaced on the video-sharing platform TikTok on Monday (May 10).
In the 15-second video, shared by TikTok user "six_lin666" with the hashtags "ironman" and "Taiwan," a man can be seen flying above buildings and billboards in Taichung's Beitun District. The individual appears to be wearing a jetpack as he drifts slowly from left to right.
Within hours, the video had garnered 633,000 views, 1,330 likes, and 151 comments. Netizens were intrigued by the rare sight, and some were curious about what the flying man was up to.
Speaking to the press on Tuesday, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said it is aware of the video and that it has launched an investigation into the incident. Since jetpacks, despite their popularity in some Western countries, are highly restricted in Taiwan, the man in the video could face legal consequences for violating the Civil Aviation Act, it explained.
The agency pointed out that an individual must receive government approval to import a jetpack and that a pilot license is required to operate one. It cautioned that flying a jetpack in Taiwan could result in a prison sentence of up to five years or a NT$1 million (US$35,917) fine.
Last year, a similar incident happened near Los Angeles International Airport when a crew member of Taiwan's China Airlines saw an individual flying in a jetpack at an altitude of 1,828 meters. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said at the time that operating a jetpack near a commercial airline or in controlled airspace is not only dangerous but illegal.