Small plane in Camp David air space while Obama there

Reuters News
|
Posted: Jun 14, 2011 12:54 AM
Small plane in Camp David air space while Obama there

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A small aircraft wandered into the airspace of Camp David, Maryland, while President Barack Obama was there on Saturday and was intercepted by two F-15 fighter jets patrolling in the area, authorities said.

The Beechcraft Bonanza aircraft had filed a flight plan but was not in radio contact and got within 11 miles of the presidential retreat.

"Out of an abundance of caution, they decided to intercept him," said Stacey Knott, spokeswoman for North American Aerospace Defense (NORAD).

The two F-15 jets from Jacksonville, Florida, were patrolling in the area and guided the plane to a landing at nearby Hagerstown, Maryland.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Jim Peters described the incident as a "pilot deviation," but no other details were given of why the pilot was out of radio contact. The identity of the pilot was not disclosed.

Camp David has been a presidential weekend and holiday retreat in the nearby Maryland mountains for decades. Obama rarely goes there but flew up from Washington this weekend.

(Writing by Greg McCune; Editing by Peter Cooney)