May 16th, 2010
03:21 PM ET

NORAD: U.S. jets intercept ultralight plane from Mexico

Two F-16 military fighter jets intercepted an ultralight aircraft that flew into Arizona from Mexico on Sunday and tracked it until the ultralight returned to Mexico, the North American Aerospace Defense Command said.

A statement by the NORAD command center in Colorado said the ultralight crossed into U.S. airspace just after 6 a.m. Arizona time (9 a.m. ET).

The F-16s were launched to intercept it, and they shadowed it for 30
minutes before the ultralight returned to Mexico, according to the NORAD
statement. No other details were immediately available.

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Filed under: Mexico
soundoff (839 Responses)
  1. brad kamp

    hmmm, I like how this comment board went from ultralite information to race war. Chances are an aircraft was offcoarce and ended up here it is very common. As for the race war no Americans are geologically indigeonous but every single immigrant had to go through a process to become a legal citizen and that's how it has always been. Get the green card then complain...oh wait then there wouldn't be anything to complain about. Thanks.

    May 16, 2010 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • itlord

      Who said anything about a "race war"? You must be a demoncrat!

      May 16, 2010 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Ultralights are popular with the drug cartels. They have cages attached to the bottom of their planes filled with the drug shipment. When they've reached the predetermined destination across the border. The drugs are released from the cages to be picked up by waiting drug transporters. The planes then return back across the borders. They carry guns , so when one of the commenters mentioned using apaches to intercept instead of jets, well helicopters don't move as fast as jets...

      May 16, 2010 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Keith1952

      The Marines have a helicopter that will catch a commercial jet. They have a jet that makes the Washington DC flight to Camp Pendelton a one hour trip.

      May 16, 2010 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Keith, you've missed the point. Besides, the fastest helicopters (not the tilt-rotor kind) travel about roughly 200 mph – commercial liners go about 400-500+ mph. The fastest jet to travel in roughly 1 hour from coast to coast is maybe the SR-71 which is a spy plane not an interceptor. It will travel so fast – that if it were to travel low enough to track an ultralight . The sonic boom will damage everything along its path.

      May 16, 2010 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jane

      Since the plane remained in US/AZ airspace for 30 minutes I think some Mexicans are testing the waters with the new imigration laws. I am also thinking that if AZ had not passed that law Norad would never have been deployed.

      May 16, 2010 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Norad has been deploying jets all the time for those situations. It just happen so that the media is making mention of it now because of it being a somewhat related story to Arizona and the immigration situation.

      May 16, 2010 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • el magnifico

      there is a lot of hate from all sides in this forum, but no one is really offering a solution, what if all the white people who doesn't want brown people around them go back to small town America and take those back breaking jobs in the agricultural field, to provide the food needed by the other white people living in the big cities. Also what if you stop using drugs for "experimentation purposes" which is a lame excuse to rationalize drug addiction. By using drugs you are not expanding your consciousness, or increasing your physical strength. You are just becoming dependent on a narcotic produced in a foreign country. What if white men start to work two jobs instead of one, in order to allow their women to stay at home and take care of the children, instead of using an immigrant nanny. What if you cook your own meals, and make your own garments so immigrants won't have a place to work. What if you stop paying attention to corrupt politicians who are using hate to obtain political power without thinking in the harmful consequences for our nation. What if you tell your white, beautiful, and superior children that they have to stay poor and uneducated, so they can serve their kind and keep foreigners from "invading" glorious white country. the solutions are at hand, but seems like everyone is waiting for their next door neighbor to do it first. then don't complain about the rapid changes that we see happening, because is our own fault for loving too much an easy life.

      May 16, 2010 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Reality


    Indeed you did not but there a few who want nothing to do with them...
    Alas is anything really going to get done inside of 10 Probably more states implementing Immigration laws. Arizona's law is solid for a border state. It should have been implemented a long time ago.

    May 16, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Solution

    @Doug- As was the case with your Brazilian friend, the only legal "process" for a latin person is to marry an American citizen. I know plenty who have just for that reason, got their papers, and said "hasta la vista, baby". Keep encouraging that and things will be a lot worse than having hard-working families immigrating together.

    May 16, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. touristguy87

    Great. So we just spent $5M to track a Mexican
    ultralight for 30 minutes.

    Then let it return to Mexico.

    I wonder who is winning this battle.

    May 16, 2010 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • ucentrist

      What battle? There is only war on the news....

      May 16, 2010 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. AGuest9

    How many illegals WALKED across the border at the same time, and how much did we pay to fuel and crew those two F-16s for this photo op of "strength"? That was wasted money. One Apache could have done the job – it wasn't a jetliner, for Pete's sake!

    May 16, 2010 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. tonyS

    Where's the predator drones to blow it out of the sky? Pull the damn trigger, Mr. Pilot.

    May 16, 2010 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bob


    The problem is that people have been putting up with the current situation for so long they are sick and tired of anything having to do with illegal immigrants. In this case they're not usually thinking rationally. It ends up as an either or dilemma for them. Either we boot them all out or we give free reign. Which is just a false dilemma fallacy, there are other options!

    I know these people can be brought around to a sensible solution, well at least I hope most of them can. What I doubt is that anyone will secure the border before they expect amnesty. It will be just like before, a "comprehensive" solution which promises much, but only really ever delivers amnesty. It's too bad.

    In the end it's like you say, nothing will get done for years. Both sides benefit to some degree with having open borders, more potential votes for Democrats not alienating Latinos, more cheap labor for Republicans and their corporate supporters. We've got to do something though and simply making everyone legal without actually securing the border isn't the answer. We tried that last time.

    May 16, 2010 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mr. Pink-Taco

    its the mexibonic plague. like rats.

    May 16, 2010 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. George Bush


    May 16, 2010 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. James Andrews

    @ Indigenous – First of all, Mexican is NOT an ethnicity like you say it is. It is a nationality just the same way American is. "Mexico" is a geographical and political term and "mexican" is a nationality describing the country origin (citizenship) of someone or some thing. Mexico is a country, not a nation as the word nation literally means a common people from a common biological stock sharing a common heritage and language. That's why a rise in nationalism in Europe (France) in the 15th century helped the French kick out the English. They didn't friggin' belong there. Get your words right! Mexico is full of different nationalities as you listed ... Aztec, Yaqui, Pima, Maya and hundreds more. Which one of them were first?!?

    Look, it boils down to this ... ITS FREAKIN' 2010. GET OVER IT! Whine and complain about crimes a century and a half old if you wish and accomplish NOTHING with you life ... OR you can look past the color of our skin and help make this PLANET the paradise it can be.

    May 16, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  11. DolphinFan1

    I can't believe that everyone here are co-workers, friends or buddies back at work on Monday morning while drinking coffee at the staff lounge. There are terrorists planting decoy bombs everyday at times square NY!!!

    May 16, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. UScitizen

    I've been reading "indigenous" for a while and then I just got tired of him and scrolled down. He wants the southwest region for the mexican people so badly. Imagine giving up, for example, the four states that border mexico – giving total control to mexicans. WHAT IS THE GAIN? The region will just turn back into the cesspool of mexico that they were trying to leave in the first place. No more welfare. No wages without tax deductions. Really. What will they gain? At that point, Oklahoma, Colorado, and Louisiana would be the next territory to be conquered – only to then turn into another mexico.

    May 16, 2010 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Bob


    But don't you know, Oklahoma, Colorado, and Louisiana are the homeplace of the Mexicana and we were there before you and therefore we get to take over your spot! How dare you question our heritige you racist! Conquestia!

    May 16, 2010 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • HA loser,

      Please just leave the guy alone, he is 100 percent right.

      May 17, 2010 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mr. Pink-Taco

    How can you tell an illegal Mexican cesspool?
    It's the one with the diving board.

    May 16, 2010 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jorge

      F'ing racist

      May 16, 2010 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patrick

      This kind of trash has helped bury the issue for 20 years.

      It's about economics and the rule of law. Illegal immigration hurts the working poor of every color.

      Every time illegal immigration makes headlines, it turns into a racial squabble and people turn away. Stop taking the bait.

      Target illegal employers. It's the most efficient and least divisive first step. If it's still a problem when the illegal labor market is cleaned up, we can start talking about race wars again.

      May 16, 2010 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
  15. lupe Ray

    Americans sarcastic idiots keep making enemies.. Not a good idea to make enemies with a country that borders you.

    May 16, 2010 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Man, we are shaking in our boots from that massive Mexican army!

      May 16, 2010 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nate K

      Last time I checked, America has 10000x the firepower that mexico has...good joke though!

      May 16, 2010 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • ucentrist

      Fire power doesn't mean a thing. Other than the illusion of superiority. Follow that illusion and get bent. Ask for a fight and you get one. You might be big and bad but you family is not. Your enemy might be as well but children are innocent. The dogs of war have fleas and a bad case of heart worms.

      May 16, 2010 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
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