Fla. National Guard jet buzzes Iowa neighborhood

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DES MOINES, Iowa - A Florida Air National Guard pilot put on a noisy aerial display over western Des Moines on Tuesday morning.

Des Moines television station KCCI-TV reported the F-15 fighter jet flew fast and low over the suburbs around 10 a.m. Tuesday, rattling windows for miles.

Witness Bree Spradling said that for a second, she though the plane was going to crash.

"It was coming down really fast -- and then it seemed to me like at the last possible second it banked hard left and then went vertical at full throttle," Spradling told the station. "I turned around and I look and the engine boosters are just glowing bright, bright orange. The windows were rattling. It was definitely a wake-up call."

Witness Willie Knolmayer says "it felt like it was right on top of me."

FAA radio traffic indicates that the pilot went off his instruments and asked to fly at varying altitudes. He was told he could fly at his discretion. Minutes later, he was told to continue on to Sioux City.

Fixed-wing aircraft must be 1,000 feet or higher over populated areas.

Lt. Col. James Evans, of the Florida Air National Guard's 125th Fighter Wing in Jacksonville, said they are investigating the complaints of the jet flying too low.

The pilot was ferrying the plane from Jacksonville to Sioux City for a paint job. He returned to Florida on commercial flights.

"Because safety is the Florida National Guard's number one priority, a thorough investigation is underway to determine exactly what occurred," according to a statement released by FANG on Wednesday. "The pilot has been assigned to non-flying duties during the conduct of the investigation."

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