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NEW YORK (CNN) -- A White House official apologized Monday after a low-flying Boeing 747 spotted above the Manhattan skyline frightened workers and residents into evacuating buildings.
Witnesses reported seeing the plane circle over the Upper New York Bay near the Statue of Liberty.
The huge aircraft, which functions as Air Force One when the president is aboard, was taking part in a classified, government-sanctioned photo shoot, the Federal Aviation Administration said.
"Last week, I approved a mission over New York. I take responsibility for that decision," said Louis Caldera, director of the White House Military Office. "While federal authorities took the proper steps to notify state and local authorities in New York and New Jersey, it's clear that the mission created confusion and disruption."