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. Zombie Iron Chef America

    " on his third fundraising trip to the Golden State in the past month."

    I see....seems SOMEONE is doing more fundraising than governing lately...again.
    He'll be in NY for the second time in two weeks on the 14th.

    June 7, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • wook

      The man (and I use that term loosely) has done nothing BUT fund raise and campaign since he took the oath.

      June 7, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Why should he start now?

      June 7, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • starman

      As have ever president since the first. I'm sure it wouldn't be an issue if you liked the president.

      June 7, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ca Ed

      Some would say that we are better off when he is out of Washington.

      June 7, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. jscan

    I just want to know why the taxpayers have to foot the campaign bill for the travel. the prez needs the protection, but.....

    June 7, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Noocrat

      "I just want to know why the taxpayers have to foot the campaign bill for the travel" – They don't you dunce. It comes from funds he's raised. And the protection is automatically given to all Presidents no matter where they go. Reagan, Clinton, and the Bush's all got the same treatment.

      June 7, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Rosemary

    It's not Obama's airspace. It belongs to the United States. And how much did it cost to apprehend this poor innocent Cessna? The whole country is going to be a no fly zone while he flits about trying to raise money. Maybe we could just pay him to stay at home, it would be a lot cheaper.

    June 7, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • kirby

      it actually is his airspace, he is the president... also its an expense im willing to live with, ever heard of 9/11? furthermore this has been done for previous presidents as well.

      June 7, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • mm

      Rosemary, what an idiotic statement.
      All presidents have campaigned while in office. Nothing new there. Multi-tasking is key to hold the position. Why, I bet he can brush his teeth and listen to the TV at the same time, as well.
      It is not your air space when there are temporary restrictions which are necessary for the security of our president. Or, would you rather he be shot down and killed. Yeah, that's what you and the rest of your radical nut cases would like. Our prez dead.
      And, you and those like you are worried about costs to protect our president? How 'bout the cost of protecting the likes of Romney and all the other idiots who wanted the top GOP spot.

      June 7, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      It really doesn't have anything to do Obama per se. The huge Presidential flight restrictions were implemented under Bush and will follow Romney if he becomes POTUS. If Romney moved to shrink the flight restrictions I'd eat my dog. No worries, Rover is safe.

      June 7, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lynn Cross

      Are You serious? Not the Presidents airspace? How old are you? get a clue before you reply to articles.

      June 7, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Rick CT

    No complaints about protecting airspace near his plane. We've been doing that ever since Presidents have flown. But I do attack his hypocracy. He has repeatedly trashed fat cat executives flying lavish corporate jets. At the same time he jaunts around in the biggest and most lavish private jet of them all at our expense. His is not the only time that is valuable.

    June 7, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      I'm sorry, are you complaining that the President is using presidential assets such as Air Force One? God forbid.

      June 7, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • baxter

      Rick,
      Fat Cat Execs who show up in D.C. in corporate jets after tax payers bailed them out. The other issue at hand was Obama indicating that some of these jet owners could afford a bit more taxes. The president will always fly and regardless of who is president deserves the protection and right. In the big scheme of things his flights don't touch what we spend in military training/protection of our country. I view his as part of it

      June 7, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick CT

      He's complained about corporate executives using corporate assets. Apparently, he thinks there are different rules for everyone else. That's the complaint.

      June 7, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      Not quite correct. Prior to the Gulf War, POTUS moved with a MUCH smaller TFR (just a few miles radius). Now POTUS jams up 2800+ square miles of airspace on every trip.

      June 7, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Franck

      A "one-day" fundraising trip? Yet, it's reported that he was out there in LA Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday/ That adds up to THREE days to me. And... he's eating up taxpayer dollars on each of these trips! Has he no conscience? No sense of spending? Of course not.... he's Obama!

      I can hardly wait to say, "Bye-Bye Obama!"

      June 7, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • mm

      Yeah, Rick...another idiot heard form. Yeah, why doesn't he get on a commmercial airline and fly coach.

      June 7, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick CT

      Baxter, Obama's time is not the only one that is valuable. If these execs were summoned to DC, which takes away from actually doing their jobs, they ought to travel as efficiently as possible. Not complaining about Obama's travels and making sure he is protected and comfortable. Corporate executives deserve the same – their time, health and safety are just as valuable. After all, they are the ones who generate the tax dollars for government to function.

      June 7, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick CT

      And mm, you are just that idiot. Never suggested that, or are you incapable of reading. Just suggested that he stop complaining about others who do as he does.

      June 7, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Noocrat

      "At the same time he jaunts around in the biggest and most lavish private jet of them all at our expense." – Campaign travel is funded by campaign funds, not tax dollars.

      June 7, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick CT

      noocrat, true, but when on official business it's still the biggest, most lavish priviate jet of all and at our expense. The point is he's doing what he's trashed other executives for doing, flying lavish private jets while on business.

      June 7, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • leave it alone

      the campaign fund pays for those flights not the tax dollars

      June 7, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Rick, it was the "biggest, most lavish" jet when the other Presidents used it, too.
      To imply that President Obama created Air Force One for his own exclusive use is disengenuous.

      June 7, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • WWOD

      The President always travels with an entourage. All Presidents get to use AF1. It is probably easier to secure one plane than the alternatives.

      June 7, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really?

      So what do you propose? He take a bus from DC to Cali and back the same day?

      June 8, 2012 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
  5. Bob

    Finally Obama doing what he does best campaigning. All talk and no action!!

    June 7, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. worthless

    And yet Obama has no problem violating the USA...

    June 7, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      You're a naughty one, aren't you :P

      June 8, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Baltimore Bill

    After reading this I decided to see what sort of an idiot could get that close to Air Force One. Apparently, the president is surrounded by a 30 mile radius zone when he files-that is over 90 square miles of "no fly" zone around him. That shuts down private airports, air ambulances, Angel flights (for cancer patients), sightseeing, etc. while he is there. I am sorry, but I just cannot believe that all of that happens for a man on a campaign fundraising flight??? It would be different if he was meeting with other world leaders, but not for this. Wow.

    June 7, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      FWIW a 30 mile radius flight restriction zone is over 2800 square miles of restricted airspace.

      June 7, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • christine

      Yes Baltimore Bill – protected airspace for the POTUS is in place no matter where he is going or why he is going there. Is this really the first time you are learning this information?

      June 7, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • leave it alone

      regardless if it is official or unofficial, when the president in airforce one any president just not obama, air space is shut down within so many natical miles cross it and meet iceman and maverick.

      June 7, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Matt

    Might want to have the copy editor take another look at this one...

    June 7, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  9. firecoachk

    And you were equally upset by all of the fundraising done by white Republican presidents, right? Sure you were.

    Fine, I'll play this game too: Romney is getting Secret Service protection; why do the taxpayers have to foot the bill for that, especially at last night's event at the home of a Texas billionaire, where the wealthy wined and dined in the presence of TWO paintings by Adolf Hitler (seriously).

    June 7, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Shmeckell

    I bet the first thing the Cessna pilot did after landing was change his/her underwear.

    June 7, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jason

    What's next CNN articles about speeding tickets near Camp David? This isn't news. Ever since POTUS started taking 2800+ square miles of restricted airspace with them on every movement, these events are common. For the non-pilot types, just imagine having to check if the President decided to be within 30 miles every time you left your driveway, or going to get a loaf of bread and being pulled over and interrogated by the Secret Service as a suspected terrorist because POTUS was at the Ruritan Club

    June 7, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • MM

      Where did you study math? pi x radius squared = area. 3.14 x 15 x 14 = 706 square miles, not 2800.

      And do you know how fast a plane can fly 15 miles?

      Seems like a quite reasonable radius. And any pilot knows you call in and check these things before flying.

      I see no problem here whatsoever.

      June 7, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • MM

      Typo, 3,14 x 15 x 15 = 706.

      June 7, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Rick CT

    And he is using it even when he is not doing the job he was hired for. Yes, all Presidents before him have done the same thing. But none of them ever took issue with the use of private jets by other executives. More than anyone before him, it's do as I say, not as I do.

    June 7, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lynn Cross

      How do you know what the previous Presidents have taken issue with? I swear you people are ridiiculous...If you don't like the President, vote him out but don't make yourself sound stupid

      June 7, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  13. firecoachk

    Yeah, Rosemary, I'm sure you also griped about taxpayer expense every time a white Republican president dared to set foot outside Washington, D.C., right? I'm not calling you a racist idiot, but your position is certainly one that a racist idiot would take.

    June 7, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. tularockstar

    The next thing we'll hear is that it's Obama and the Democraps who created the air space, but will start blaming the Republicans for it's being too crowded! Why not? Obama blames everybody else for his own stupidity anyway!

    June 7, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jj

      Ellen degenerous(sp) was there along with Michelle Obama. The prez made a comment "my wife doesn't go all the way down". It turns out Ellen and Michelle were seeing how many push ups they could do. I guess the press corps that was laughing their butts off and the prez didn't understand why. Thought it was funny...

      June 7, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Crabapple

      Wow. Really? Do really believe what you are saying? Do you follow politics much? They ALL do that!!

      June 7, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Maybe because it true...Republicraps are all to blame! LOL

      June 7, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • christine

      Of course Obama invented air! But, I'm sure Myth Robme will try and take credit for it. Every good republican knows that President Obama is the all-knowing, creator of everything.

      June 7, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Morgan Hill

    Zombie, wook, and jscan and all the rest of the zombies, you're just a bunch of complainers, you don't seem to remember that all past presidents, including the Bushes campaigned while being presidents. If that's what all past presidents have done, why not President Obama. He has the right just like the others, so stop complaining. You're just a bunch of cry babies. What's good for one is good for the other. Yes, and it's the right thing for the country.

    June 7, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
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