Small plane strays into Camp David airspace while Obama there

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 02, 2011 6:28 PM
Small plane strays into Camp David airspace while Obama there

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A small plane wandered into the airspace around Camp David, Maryland, on Saturday while President Barack Obama was there, prompting an F-15 fighter jet to scramble to intercept it, authorities said.

The civilian plane, a two-seater that was out of radio communication, got within 6 miles of the presidential retreat before being intercepted, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said in a statement.

The fighter jet guided the plane to a landing at nearby Hagerstown, Maryland, where it landed without incident.

"He (the pilot) was met by authorities," NORAD spokeswoman Angela Young said, without giving further details on why the plane may have strayed into the area.

It was the second incident of a plane straying into the Camp's airspace in recent weeks. On June 11 while Obama was there, fighter jets scrambled to guide another small plane away from the area without incident.

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 on Friday ahead of the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

(Writing by Cynthia Johnston; Editing by Greg McCune)