Piper 28 intercepted by F-16s in Air Force One airspace violation: a couple of lessons to be learned

The Los Angeles Times has run a report that two F-16s were scrambled after a Piper 28 aircraft violated airspace restrictions which were in place due to President Obama being due to leave LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) on board Air Force One on May 11.

NORAD said in a statement: “The fighters responded to a temporary flight restriction violation by a piper 28 aircraft, after intercepting the aircraft, the F-16s followed it until it landed without incident, at approximately 9.50am local time where the plane was met by local law enforcement”.

It comes only a couple of months after a similar incident where an aircraft violated airspace restrictions in place due to the President’s presence in the area. On that occasion 10kg of marijuana were found on board the Cessna 182.

First things: pilots should read NOTAMs

Second: if you have marijuana or you are smuggling other illegal stuff, violating a restricted airspace interested by world’s most important plane might not be a very good idea.