FAA Investigates "Shake" on a Plane

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
March 1 2013 10:53 AM

If You Do the "Harlem Shake" on a Plane, the FAA Will Investigate It

ABC News reports that FAA officials have opened an investigation into one of the seemingly countless "Harlem Shake" videos floating around online. Why this one in particular? We'll let Colorado College's student newspaper, the Catalyst, explain:

Something aboard a Frontier Airlines flight across the Rocky Mountain West caught the attention of federal investigators last week. Perhaps it was the passengers banging on the ceiling, walls and floor of the cabin, or maybe how most of the passengers were out of their seats, jumping up and down.
The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating a group of Colorado College students and a Frontier flight crew for a video that was shot in the air during Flight 157 of a Airbus A320 on Feb. 15, an airline spokesperson and federal officials confirmed this week.
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The video in question, which has garnered a few hundreds thousand views since it was posted online last month, was orchestrated by the college's ultimate frisbee team, which was traveling to San Diego for a tournament when they filmed it. From the sounds of it, the FAA is just doing its due deligence, and no charges are expected. One federal official who spoke to ABC said that the video "looks bad" but that as long as it wasn't recorded during take off or landing—and the students had the blessing of the flight crew—than no rules were broken. Both the student who filmed it and a school spokesman have said that the team asked, and was given, permission.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City.