Officer resigns over 'low-flying' Air Force One controversy | world | Hindustan Times
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Officer resigns over 'low-flying' Air Force One controversy

world Updated: May 09, 2009 13:51 IST

A top White House military officer, who had authorised a photo-op of Air Force One flying "very low" over the New York skyline, has resigned owning responsibility for the incident that sent scared residents rushing into the streets, reminding them of 9/11.

Louis Caldera, who heads the White House Military Office, tendered his resignation yesterday afternoon on the completion of an internal investigation of the April 27 incident.

Caldera said he didn't know Air Force One would fly at 1,000 feet (300 meters) during the April 27 photo promotion, according to the investigation findings.

He also failed to read an e-mail message describing the operation and seemed unaware of the potential public threat, the findings said.

The investigation revealed that the Air Force One tailed by fighter jets flew very low over the New York skyline and resulted in thousands of people being evacuated from their high rise buildings and running to safer places.

"I have concluded that the controversy surrounding the Presidential Airlift Group's aerial photo shoot over New York City has made it impossible for me to effectively lead the White House Military Office," Caldera wrote to Obama in his resignation letter.