The pilot whose plane triggered an emergency evacuation of President Joe Biden on Saturday was not following a flight plan at the time of the incident, officials said, according to news reports.
The president and first lady, Jill Biden, were hustled off to a fire station shortly before 1 p.m. after a small, white private plane was seen above Biden’s beach house, according to CBS.
Because Biden was vacationing in Delaware, airspace over his Rehoboth Beach house is restricted for the duration of his stay.
President Biden and the First Lady were evacuated from their beach home in Rehoboth Beach, after a private plane entered restricted airspace, a White House official told pooler @DJJudd
Officers shut down one side of the street downtown while Biden was in secure location pic.twitter.com/r4jbs4RyYb
— Jasmine Wright (@JasJWright) June 4, 2022
The North American Aerospace Defense Command said the Cessna 172 aircraft was not following a flight plan, according to NBC.
NORAD further said that the pilot of the plan was not in radio contact with any air traffic controllers, NBC reported.
Two F-15 fighter jets and an MH-65 helicopter were sent aloft, according to NBC.
The jets made visual contact with the plane and escorted it out of the restricted airspace.
The jets stayed with the plane until it landed at a local airport.
According to CBS, the plane landed at 1:11 p.m., roughly 20 minutes after it was spotted.
One Twitter user compared the situation to the mainstream media’s scathing reaction to then-President Donald Trump moving briefly into a White House bunker as a mob of protesters gathered outside the building in May 2020.
Remember when they Laughed at Trump when he went to the White House bunker because of Riots outside?
How about Biden scrambling Fighter Jets and running to his Safe house because some guy got lost in his Cessna?
— Billiejo&Mitch (@BilliejoMitch) June 5, 2022
The Secret Service offered a summary of the incident.
“Shortly before 1 p.m. today a privately owned aircraft entered the restricted airspace over Rehoboth Delaware after mistakenly entering a secured area,” Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement, according to CNN.
“The aircraft was immediately escorted out of the restricted airspace,” he said.
The pilot, the statement said, had made a major error.
“Preliminary investigation reveals the pilot was not on the proper radio channel, was not following the NOTAMS (Notice to Airmen) that had been filed and was not following published flight guidance,” the statement said.
The Secret Service is taking a direct interest in the matter.
“The United States Secret Service will be interviewing the pilot,” the statement said.
Biden arrived at his beach house Friday. He returned to the White House on Sunday.
Story cited here.
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