June 7th, 2012
01:21 PM ET

Small plane forced to land after violating presidential airspace restrictions

A small plane was forced to land in Chino, California, after a pilot violated airspace restrictions in place for President Barack Obama's visit, FAA spokesperson Allen Kenitzer told CNN.

Kenitzer had no further details about the incident.

The military also intercepted a private plane Thursday morning in the vicinity of Fullerton, California, Kenitzer said. The aircraft, a Mooney M20, landed at Chino at 6:04 a.m. PDT. The FAA is investigating.

The incidents on Thursday followed a similar issue on Wednesday when a fighter jet intercepted a single-engine airplane northwest of Los Angeles for breaching a temporary airspace restriction, according to a military news release.

The temporary restriction violated by the Cessna aircraft coincided with a campaign visit to the city by Obama, who was on a one-day fundraising swing through the state.

"After intercepting the aircraft, the F-16 followed it until it landed without incident, at approximately 4:58 p.m. PDT where the plane was met by local law enforcement," according to a statement issued by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

The president spoke at a gala for the gay community in Los Angeles, on his third fundraising trip to the Golden State in the past month. Earlier in the day, he attended two campaign events in San Francisco.

NORAD's mission is to protect U.S. and Canadian airspace against possible threats and may require planes to change course or land.

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Filed under: Aviation • Barack Obama • California
soundoff (487 Responses)
  1. snowdoglamapants

    WOW!

    June 7, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. erik

    He is not doing anything new. Get over it or create change.

    June 7, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. gregofla

    The President is never off duty. Therefore, always has the full security detail that afforded the Presidency. So, even when he is campaigning, and traveling to and from campaign stops he is acting in the dual role of President and campaigner. The Presidential part of him gets the benefits of Air Force One.

    June 7, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Bravo3620

    Maybe the guy was just trying to have "Dinner with Barack" . . . indigestion . . . .

    June 7, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. BigTight33

    This kind of thing will not stop until an F-16 blast one of these "air space " violators out of the sky !

    June 7, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. justa pilot

    FYI on the flight plans...
    VFR flight in many classes of airspace does not require a flight plan. Small airport you can just take of and fly. You need to know the airspace around you that is always in place. There are tools to check for TFRs as other posters have noted but the TFRs can change or become active after you are already in flight. Even if you are using vfr flight following (ATC service for traffic) they are under no obligaton to keep you out of airspace or restricted airspace.
    It is likely the guy just took off from his small airport like he has done for the last 25 years. He just hadn't check the NOTAMs (Notice to Airman) today.

    June 7, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Stumped

    How does a F-16 'follow' a Cessna?

    June 7, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Fred Jet-pilot

      ...how DOES a F-16 Fighter Jet follow a Cessna? ... weaves in & out of Traffic, I suppose.

      June 7, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. STEVE

    Another careless pilot who didn't check the NOTAMs.

    June 7, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. mrmagoo

    you dummy!

    June 7, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Bob

    Teh aircraft, a Moony M20, is not a Cessna. The reported must thin all small planes are Cessna's. The restricted airspace tthe pilot violated is not on any chart because it is a VIP "TFR" (Temporary Flight Restriction). These pop up all the time with little or no prior notice. It is the pilots responsibility to check for TFRs before and during any flight but they are easy to miss.

    June 7, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bob

      Edit: The aircraft, a Moony M20, is not a Cessna. The reporter must think that all small planes are Cessna's. The restricted airspace the pilot violated is not on any chart because it is a VIP "TFR" (Temporary Flight Restriction). These pop up all the time with little or no prior notice. It is the pilots responsibility to check for TFRs before and during any flight but they are easy to miss.

      June 7, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      I remember my flight instructor being stuck out of town and missing a lesson one day in the early nineties because Bush Sr. had a surprise visit. It happened so fast he didn't even know to call and cancel, he just had to wait it out with his charter in the next town and I found out when I got to the FBO. TFR's happen pretty quickly. It's sloppily written, but I think the article is actually about two interceptions, a Mooney in Chino and a Cessna in Fullerton.

      June 7, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stella333

      Bob – Two different incidents. The Mooney was forced down on Thursday; the Cessna on Wednesday.

      June 7, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      The article relates more than once incident. The Cessna incident was separate from the Mooney incident.

      June 7, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Note in the article, the Mooney M20 was intercepted Thursday, while the Cessna was intercepted Wednesday. Two planes, two days, two incidents.

      June 7, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      I stand corrected. Two different incidents. Not too uncommon.

      June 7, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Michael in Houston

    Are you telling me that the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, is using Air Force One, which was designed for the President and Commander in Chief to essentially always be close his command center as he travels is in fact being used by the President??!!! Thats just outrageous. Its obscene. He should be impeached. How dare he. This is unprecedented. Its shocking. Maybe...just maybe...Mitt will do the right thing and decline using Air Force One and set a new example for all. and hey...while we are at it....lets just get rid of ALL the protection afforded the President. Heck, remove the gates circling the White House and open up the front door. Its all a waste of taxpayer money. Unless of course....its a Republican in the White House at which point its ALL considered patriotic, flag waving, hand on chest respectful. ya know...that sort of thing.

    June 7, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    No more warnings and no more "test runs" , shoot one down and it won't happen anymore. Remember, Obama's people are watching.

    June 7, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Paul

      Yea, and maybe YOU will be the one in the plane!

      June 7, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • saleem qazi

      You don't start shooting people just because they violated the temp. air space rules. This will definitely reflect bad on the President and the community as a whole.

      June 7, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • .

      Huh??

      June 7, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Chris D

    Ladies and Gentlemen, Our tax dollars at work....

    June 7, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • chicago2010

      You mean Tax dollars are not supposed to protect the President of United States? Wow!

      June 7, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • MySay500

      Suppose we should fault your parents for creating such a knowledgeable idiot and a$$!

      June 7, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jax

    i am not an Obama supporter, but this is the president of the United State and his presence, no matter where, or how much you love or hate him, requires protection. I live on Oahu, and when he comes here, nobody flies anywhere except the airliners. It would be common if it was your man or not.

    June 7, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. oldsoldierboy

    Thank you president Obama for keeping us safe by eliminating the bad guys. Also thank you for getting rid of those bogus terror alerts the Bush administration used to issue to force us to keep swallowing their kool-aid.

    June 7, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Paul

      And thank you for the indefinite detention of US citizens provision in the NDAA. And the setup of "reducation centers" in the US for political dissidents (anyone who still believes in the Bill of Rights). And the 30,000 drones being deployed to spy on Americans. And the TSA now being armed and disguised as police officers. And the US Marines guarding the opium fields in Afghanistan. And the 3000+ killed by arms shipped to the Mexican druglords. Need I go on?

      June 7, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
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