WASHINGTON — Authorities say two F-16 fighter jets intercepted a small civilian plane in restricted airspace around the nation’s capital over the weekend and that the pilot reported he didn’t realize he had entered an area that was off limits.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, says the jets scrambled from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland when a Cessna’s pilot didn’t immediately respond to air traffic controllers Sunday afternoon.
Canadian Army Capt. Jennifer Stadnyk, a NORAD spokeswoman, says the plane had left restricted airspace when the jets arrived and the pilot began talking with controllers. Stadnyk says she doesn’t know if the place was forced to land. The pilot wasn’t immediately identified.
NORAD is a binational American and Canadian command responsible for air defense of North America.
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