The president's security no-fly air zone was extended Sunday and included the Hagerstown, Maryland, event, but at least four pilots of antique airplanes who were supposed to join the charity show were apparently unaware of the Federal Aviation Administration restrictions. They were intercepted by F-16s and escorted out of the area, federal officials said.JP has an exclusive, inside look at the incident.
Bush was speaking at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland, about 26 miles from Hagerstown.
Several pilots headed to the benefit for the Experimental Aircraft Association and the Hagerstown Aviation Museum apparently were unaware of the security measure in part because their antique planes carried no radios.
A dozen planes flew into the area, causing the North American Aerospace Defense Command to scramble its fighters. The four antiques intercepted were escorted to nearby airports and forced to land. The others were warned off.
Laura Brown, a spokeswoman for the FAA, said the pilots would not have had the problem if they had been using radios. She said all pilots have a responsibility to check the agency's notifications.
The pilots, who were being interviewed by the Secret Service, could face penalties, including suspension of their license, Brown said.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Line of Flight
Wouldn’t the burden here, or at least some of it, be on the Secret Service? Shouldn’t they have known there was going to be an air show in the area and perhaps been in contact with the organizers?