President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden evacuated after unauthorized plane entered airspace above Delaware home

A small private airplane mistakenly entered restricted airspace near President Joe Biden’s Delaware vacation home Saturday, prompting the brief evacuation of the president and first lady, the White House and the Secret Service said.

The Biden’s were evacuated to a fire station. After the situation was assessed, Biden and his wife, Jill, returned to their Rehoboth Beach home. The Bidens were spending the weekend in Rehoboth to celebrate Jill’s birthday, which was Friday.

A CBS News reporter said on Twitter that he saw Biden motorcading to a Rehoboth Beach fire station. The group of reporters that travels with the president was not part of the motorcade.

The Secret Service said in a statement that the plane was immediately escorted from the restricted airspace after “mistakenly entering a secured area.” The agency said it would interview the pilot who, according to a preliminary investigation, was not on the proper radio channel and was not following published flight guidance.

Local resident Susan Lillard told CBS News she saw a small white plane flying over the area where the president’s house is. She said two military jets were quickly scrambled and soared across the sky above her during the dramatic response.

As is standard practice for presidential trips outside Washington, the Federal Aviation Administration published flight restrictions earlier this week before Biden’s beach town visit. The restrictions include a 10-mile radius no-fly zone contained with a 30-mile restricted zone.

Federal regulations require pilots to check for flight restrictions along their route before taking off. However, accidental airspace breaches, especially those around temporary restricted zones, are common.

U.S. military jets and Coast Guard helicopters are often used to intercept any planes that violate the flight restrictions around the president. Intercepted planes are then diverted to a nearby airfield where all those aboard the aircraft are interviewed by law enforcement. Some may even face criminal or civil penalties.



Leave a Reply