Two small planes were intercepted by F-16 fighter jets on two separate occasions after entering temporarily restricted airspace during President Biden’s visit to Southern California last week, authorities said.
According to a press release from the Continental United States North American Aerospace Defense Command Region (CONR), which oversees air surveillance and control and directs the air, the violations by the single-engine aircraft occurred while Biden was attending events in Los Angeles and Orange County related to sovereignty activities for the lower 48 states.
The first breach occurred over Los Angeles on Oct. 13, just before Biden spoke alongside mayoral candidate and Rep. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) at the site of the new Metro D line extension in west LA. At approximately 12:40 p.m., two F-16s under the direction of CONR intercepted a Beechcraft Bonanza entering the temporary restricted flight area without proper clearance or communications. The plane landed safely, CONR said.
The second violation occurred Friday when a Cessna 182 entered temporarily restricted airspace over Santa Ana at 3:10 p.m. without the appropriate clearances or communications, CONR said. Biden attended an event at Irvine Valley College where he and Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) discussed Democrats’ efforts to reduce prescription drug costs when the violation occurred.
Officials used flares to get the pilot’s attention, according to CONR, and the plane landed safely. Flares are a standard tool for getting pilots into communication, the agency said.
Both violations were known to the agency, and neither interfered with the president’s schedule, a spokesman for the agency said. Violations of the temporary flight restrictions are common, particularly by small aircraft, the spokesman said.
Temporary flight restrictions are a routine procedure based on the president’s schedule and location, the intelligence service said.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, temporary flight restrictions may be applied during natural disasters such as wildfires and hurricanes, certain major sporting events, and emergencies or national security situations.
https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-10-20/biden-fighter-jets-intercepted-small-planes-in-restricted-airspace-during-presidents-visit-los-angeles-orange-county Small planes breached restricted airspace during Biden’s SoCal visit