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Andrews air force intercepts stray plane 2003

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   http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2003-11-10-white-house-plane_x.htm

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2003-11-10-white-house-plane_x.htm

Posted 11/10/2003 12:12 PM Updated 11/10/2003 12:41 PM

Air Force jets intercept plane straying near White House
WASHINGTON (AP) Air Force fighter jets were scrambled Monday to intercept a privately owned plane that flew too close to the White House, the Secret Service said.
President Bush was away at the time, on a trip to Arkansas and South Carolina.

Vice President Dick Cheney and White House chief of staff Andrew Card were moved temporarily to a secure location as a precautionary measure, said presidential spokesman Scott McClellan. They resumed their normal routine soon thereafter, said McClellan, who was with Bush in Little Rock

The privately owned plane was detected flying in a southwest direction, coming down the Potomac River, when it entered restricted airspace, said Secret Service spokeswoman Jean Mitchell.

The fighters were scrambled from nearby Andrews Air Force in Maryland and they intercepted the plane, escorting it out of the area, she said.

"Anytime we have an airspace violation, we take it very seriously," Mitchell said. "At this point we don't know if it was a mistake."

Maj. Douglas Martin, spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, said it was determined that the plane did not represent a threat.

"From the NORAD perspective, he's not a threat, and that's the main thing for us," Martin said.

The plane apparently strayed within the Air Defense Identification Zone, roughly a 30-mile radius around Washington, according to Les Dorr, spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.


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Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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