Plane Enters Secure Airspace 2nd Time

Same plane caused alarm in 2005, as well

View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCWashington.com
    A plane violates D.C. airspace -- for a second time.

    A small plane that flew into restricted airspace above the Washington region Tuesday was the same plane that caused mass evacuations around the Capitol and a red alert at the White House in 2005.

    A student pilot flew a small plane into restricted airspace around Washington Tuesday afternoon and had to be escorted to an airport in Gaithersburg by a Black Hawk helicopter, officials said.

    The plane was initially spotted southwest of Baltimore-Washington International Airport at about 2:30 p.m.  Air controllers said they tried to talk to pilot but got no response.  That's when military aircraft scrambled to intercept it.

    The Secret Service said it would talk with the pilot to see why he entered the restricted air space.  Initial reports suggest that the pilot did not intend to violate the restriction.

    A reader from Laytonsville, Md., described the situation seen from his home:

    Some poor guy in a small plane just flew over my house in Laytonsville at about 2:45 PM . He was at about 2,000 feet and being circled by 2 F-16s and followed by a large black helicopter.

    Several police and fire units were protectively dispatched to the area around the White House. The president, however, is on vacation at Martha's Vineyard.

    The scene was much different in 2005, when the same plane -- with a different pilot -- entered restricted airspace.

    In that incident, the plane took off from a small airport in Pennsylvania with a instructional pilot and student on board. It flew into restricted airspace around D.C. and was escorted to Frederick Municipal Airport by two F-16s and a Black Hawk, but not before causing the evacuation of numerous buildings.

    President George W. Bush, like Obama in 2009, was not in the White House at the time.  But Vice President Dick Cheney was.  He was moved to a "secure location."  First lady Laura Bush and former first lady Nancy Reagan, who was staying at the White House for a special event at the Reagan Building, also were escorted to a secure location.