FLORENCE, Ala. (AP) — A pilot giving his daughter a flight lesson strayed into a 35-mile protected airspace zone during President Bush’s visit to north Alabama and was diverted by two fighter jets.
Bush visited TVA’s Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant on Thursday.
Pilot John Moseley of Florence was giving his daughter a flight lesson about 1:20 p.m. when the Piper PA-28 entered the restricted area near Browns Ferry, The Decatur Daily reported Sunday.
Two North American Aerospace Defense Command F-22 jets intercepted the plane and diverted it.
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The Piper is registered to Moseley’s company, Wings of Eagles Inc. in Florence, according to Federal Aviation Administration records.
Moseley, who could not be reached for comment, didn’t check the temporary flight restrictions and didn’t have headsets on, said Rhonda Achord, acting office manager and wife of the owner of Tennessee Valley Aero, which operates Lawrence County Airport in Courtland.
According to FAA and North American Aerospace Defense Command records, two other planes also intruded into the protected airspace.
One of the violations was at noon, said FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen of Atlanta. Brief radar contact was made with the craft, and FAA has no information on its identity.
At 1:34 p.m., a Cessna T-303 entered the airspace. The plane’s pilot did not respond to fighters’ signals to leave the restricted airspace. The FAA had no other information on the Cessna.