Capitol Evacuated After Airline Pilot Mistake

Commercial flight lost radio contact near Reagan National Airport

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Capitol

    A commercial airline pilot’s mistake caused the evacuation of the U.S. Capitol Saturday.

    The Piedmont Airlines flight with 31 passengers was headed into the D.C. area around 1:30 p.m. when it suddenly went out of radio contact. 

    U.S. Capitol police evacuated all workers from the Capitol, House and Senate buildings. 

    F-16 fighter jets were dispatched.

    Within half an hour, the flight landed safely at Reagan National Airport. Officials then cleared the U.S. Capitol and surrounding buildings for workers to return. 

    Passengers on board the flight from Hilton Head, S.C. deplaned and resume their trips.

    Investigators interviewed the Piedmont pilots. They discovered that one of the pilots had accidentally turned to the radio wrong frequency.

    The FAA is looking into an incident they describe as “pilot readback error”.