The meme that's made Bauuer's incorrectly named "Harlem Shake" the number one song in America two weeks in a row is finally getting the federal investigation it deserves. Sort of. One of the more recent versions of the meme, made by the Colorado College Ultimate Frisbee Team – takes place aboard a Frontier Airlines flight. It starts off innocently/predictably enough, with a lone frisbee player dancing in a lacrosse helmet. Then, as always happens in these videos, the whole plane joins in, including other members of the team in various costumes, plus a confused-looking but game old man. Harmless fun, in an awful sort of way, right? Wrong, according to the FAA, who have launched an investigation into the video.
A federal official who did not want to be identified because of the ongoing investigation said the video "looks bad" — but as long as it wasn't recorded as the plane was taking off or landing, then it probably isn't a crime. If the video was recorded against the wishes of the Frontier flight attendants, however, the official said, the passengers could be charged with interfering with a flight crew.
Both members of the frisbee team and school officials are denying any wrongdoing. "[The students] definitely had permission from the flight crew," Leslie Weddell, the college's spokesperson, told ABC News. Matt Zelin, a sophomore on the team, told the school's newspaper (headline: "BREAKING: FAA investigating student's in-flight ‘Harlem Shake'') that the crew approved the video ahead of time.
"Obviously I hope that this whole situation is solved with the FAA…," said Matt Zelin, sophomore who filmed the dance and who is a member of CC's frisbee team. "I don't see there being any reason why this should cause any trouble. We asked the staff and they said it was safe."
ABC News' aviation expert said the stunt was probably harmless.
"I don't think there's any concern structurally or when it comes to safety of flight," said ABC News aviation consultant John Nance.
If the dancers had all moved to the front or rear of the plane simultaneously, Nance said, that could have created a weight and balance issue for the pilots in the cockpit, but not a problem that put the plane in danger of crashing.
"It's nothing the flight crew or the aircraft can't handle," Nance said. "This gyrating around is of no consequence."
But to be on the safe side, let's all agree to stop making "Harlem Shake" videos, in the air or anywhere else.