PIR: Large jet circling downtown part of Grand Prix event

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A large jet circled downtown Portland while waiting to complete a scheduled flyover at the Portland International Raceway Sunday, a raceway spokesperson confirmed.

The KOIN 6 newsroom received numerous calls from concerned people who saw the jet. They said they were nervous about it, especially since it happened the same weekend as the anniversary of 9/11.  

“It was a big, gray-looking jet with the old-school jets on the wings,” described Tom Walsh, from Portland. He said the jet caught his attention. He saw it about three times Sunday and three or four times Saturday. 

Michelle Walsh was outside the Goodwill on Hawthorne Boulevard when she first spotted it in the sky. 

“On Hawthorne, I was waiting in line out there to drop off some stuff and it went over about three to four times and I’m looking behind me to see if anybody was watching,” she said. “Today, we could hear it go over and it was low and loud.” 

Several other people posted images on social media. 

“Could be a little more sensitive about flying a low plane on 9/11 over the neighborhood,” Michelle Walsh said. 

“A little unnerving, especially yesterday,” Tom Walsh agreed. 

Ron Huegli, raceway manager at PIR, confirmed the jet was a scheduled part of the festivities for the Grand Prix of Portland.

The Portland Tribune, a KOIN 6 News media partner, reports the plane is a four-engine U.S. Air Force jet. A spokesperson with the Grand Prix of Portland said the race featured a flyby of a KC-135 from the 336th Air Refueling Squadron out of March Joint Air Reserve Base, Calif.

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