This morning's Boeing 747+fighter jet fly-over was, as we now know, nothing to worry about because it was a photo opportunity for Air Force One photographers or something. But it's not like hundreds, if not thousands of New Yorkers in lower Manhattan, weren't just a little startled by the low-flying aircraft, evacuating buildings and sending worried calls or texts to friends. [Update: The White House has apologized! More below.]

The NYPD told the media, "The flight of a VC-25 aircraft and F-16 fighters this morning was authorized by the FAA for the vicinity of the Statue of Liberty with directives to local authorities not to disclose information about it but to direct any inquiries to the FAA Air Traffic Security Coordinator." And the FAA said, "It is pre-planned, pre-coordinated with everyone involved... It's a military flight over New York to take photos."

Yet the coordination seemed to have missed the Mayor's office! NY1 reports, "Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he was furious that he was not notified"—and that it was "poor judgment" for the flyover to be so near Ground Zero—"The mayor said had he known about the photo shoot on Thursday when the message was sent out, he would have spoken with the Defense Department and asked them to reconsider." And one woman, who had worked on the 13th floor of the World Trade Center's north tower, told the Wall Street Journal, "For anybody who had gone through the World Trade Center, this was the most thoughtless, senseless thing they could do to somebody."

We asked the Air Force for comment and received this statement:

"In coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Presidential Airlift Group conducted a aerial photo mission in the New York City area on 27 Apr 2009 involving the VC-25 and an F-16, in conjunction with normally scheduled continuation training for assigned aircrew members. This mission was coordinated for the Upper New York Bay, south of the Holland Tunnel and in the Newark Bay north of the Staten Island Expressway between the hours of 1000L and 1030L."

When NBC News' Chuck Todd asked White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs about the flyover, Gibbs apparently didn't know about it. Todd was surprised Gibbs didn't have a response, since it was a plane used as Air Force One.

Update: The White House Military Office director Louis Caldera issued an apology, explaining he approved the mission last week: "I take responsibility for that decision. 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. I apologize and take responsibility for any distress that flight caused." A financial services executive in lower Manhattan told the Washington Post, "Particularly for people like myself who were here on September 11, it was kind of an uncool thing. Someone should have made a public announcement."