'Harlem Shake' on a Plane Results in Federal Investigation
The “Harlem Shake” is causing a headache for the Federal Aviation Administration.
A new viral video, which features costumed members of the Colorado College Ultimate Frisbee Team doing the frenzied dance in the aisle of a Frontier Airlines flight, has caught the attention of federal investigators.
A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed to ABC News that the agency has opened an investigation into the video. An unnamed federal official said that while the video “looks bad,” as long as it was not recorded during takeoff or landing, the incident is probably not a crime. However, if the video was recorded against the wishes of the flight attendants, the participants could be charged with interfering with a flight crew.
“Obviously, I hope that this whole situation is solved with the FAA,” student Matt Zelin, a member of the team, told the Colorado College newspaper. “I don’t see there being any reason why this should cause any trouble. We asked the staff and they said it was safe.”
Adds Colorado College spokeswoman Leslie Weddell, speaking with ABC News: “[The students] definitely had permission from the flight crew.”
While the video appears shaky (watch below), aviation experts say that the dance likely had no impact on the plane itself – unless all dancers had moved to the front or the rear of the plane simultaneously.
“I don’t think there’s any concern structurally when it comes to safety of flight,” said ABC News aviation consultant John Nance. “It’s nothing the flight crew or the aircraft can’t handle ... This gyrating around is of no consequence.”
The “Harlem Shake” craze has garnered increased attention as of late, with countless videos surfacing online of groups of people dancing wildly to a track from producer Baauer, which is currently in its second week atop the Billboard Hot 100. The videos have drawn some criticism, however, due to its differences from the “real Harlem Shake,” which, according to the New York Times, is a raw, technical and fluid dance born in New York City more than three decades ago by Rucker Park native Al. B.