An American Airlines pilot claims that a missile was shot at his plane while he was taking off from LAX.
Sources tell ABC News the pilot of American Airlines Flight 621, en route to Chicago, radioed air traffic controllers after takeoff from LAX. He told them a missile had been fired at the aircraft and missed.
The plane was over water when the pilot said he saw a smoke trail pass by the cockpit.
FBI agents believe it was a flare or a bottle rocket, but say they may never know if that's what it actually was.
I live near LAX and I'm familiar with the flight paths of the airplanes around the airport, and by the time the planes are over water they're a good 1000 feet up. You can use the LAX Airport Monitor to track the exact altitudes of flights around the airport if you want to see for yourself. It seems unlikely that a bottle rocket would reach that altitude... I don't know much about flares.