Several people in the suburbs of Boston were concerned Sunday after they spotted a large plane that was flanked by two fighter jets circling the area. Many took to social media to ask why it was happening.
According to the flight tracking service Flightaware, the large plane took off from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, around 2:28 p.m. and landed at 4:52 p.m. at the Portsmouth International Airport at Pease in New Hampshire.
The flight path shows the plane circle the MetroWest area -- a cluster of cities and towns lying west of Boston and east of Worcester that includes Natick, Framingham and Hopkinton -- multiple times before taking a direct path toward Foxboro and circling back to fly toward New Hampshire.
Earlier, the planes took part in the Thunder Over New Hampshire air show, where the KC-46A tanker was an advertised attraction.
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The plane was in the air for 2 hours and 24 minutes, during which time the plane's altitude is shown at 21,000 feet for a while before it drops down to 3,000 feet, and then lowers again to 1,500 feet.
Several people took issue on Twitter with the low altitude, the choice of aircraft, and the timing -- one day after the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
One Twitter user commented the plane and jets were flying "so so low" over the Wellesley area.
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"Thankfully the last round (which I saw 5 total) was at an acceptable height, the other ones I thought a passenger plane was going to crash," the person shared in a tweet. "It was very scary. Very bad taste whoever selected these planes for the Patriots flyover. At least that’s what people think it was. This could have been a trigger for anyone that lived through 9/11 or lost a loved one. Terrible choice of planes."
Another Twitter user replied saying," I literally thought a plane was going down into the residential area, my husband started praying."
"It was very scary, with no warning, the day after Sept 11th, and SOooooo low was a bad oversight on whomever was in charge of that," the person said.
The Patriots hosted the Miami Dolphins in Foxboro on Sunday for their season opener, with kickoff at 4:25 p.m. The plane and two fighter jets were used for a flyover during the pregame festivities in Foxboro.
The Patriots tweeted a photo with three plane emojis that appeared to show the same aircrafts flying over Gillette Stadium before Sunday's game.
At least one police department in the MetroWest said it fielded calls from concerned residents.
Framingham police said on Facebook that they received calls regarding military planes flying in the area.
The department wrote in a Facebook post that they "believe these were planes doing the flyover at the Patriots game at 4:25 p.m."
The Pease Air National Guard Base is a New Hampshire Air National Guard base located at the Portsmouth International Airport at Pease.