Just a few weeks after similar activity was reported during the Baltimore riots, the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune has a story about unmarked small planes flying low-altitude surveillance patterns, in the middle of the night, over downtown Minneapolis and the Mall of America.
Aviation buff John Zimmerman was at a weekly gathering of neighbors Friday night when he noticed something peculiar: a small plane circling a route overhead that didn’t make sense to him.
It was dark, so a sightseeing flight didn’t make sense, and when Zimmerman pulled up more information on an aviation phone app he routinely checks, he had immediate concerns.
The plane’s flight path, recorded by the website flightradar24.com, would eventually show that it circled downtown Minneapolis, the Mall of America and Southdale Center at low altitude for hours starting at 10:30 p.m., slipping off radar just after 3 a.m.
“I thought, ‘Holy crap,’ ” said Zimmerman.
Bearing the call sign N361DB, the plane is one of three Cessna 182T Skylanes registered to LCB Leasing of Bristow, Va., according to FAA records. The Virginia secretary of state has no record of an LCB Leasing. Virtually no other information could be learned about the company.