NORAD intercepts second plane in Washington area in three days

June 13, 2011

Coast Guard helicopters intercepted a small aircraft Monday as it entered restricted airspace near the Washington region, authorities said. It was the second interception of a small aircraft near restricted airspace in the area in three days.

In the Monday incident, the HH-65 Dolphin helicopters under the direction of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) intercepted the civilian aircraft about 9 a.m.

The helicopters made positive visual identification of the aircraft, which was permitted to continue to its destination, NORAD said in a statement.

Other details of the incident were not available immediately, and it was not known where the civilian aicraft was headed.

On Saturday, two F-15 fighter jets under NORAD direction intercepted a Beechcraft Bonanza near Camp David about 3:25 p.m.

The civilian Beechcraft was out of radio communication, according to a NORAD statement, and was intercepted about 11 miles from Camp David, the presidential retreat in the Catoctin Mountain area of Maryland.

The F-15s, which were based in Jacksonville, Fla., escorted the civilian Beechcraft out of the area and it landed without incident in Hagerstown, Md., NORAD said.

President Obama was to leave the White House for Camp David with his family at 3:30 p.m. Friday, according to the White House schedule posted online. He was to leave the White House on Monday morning for a trip to North Carolina.

NORAD is a Canadian and American command that is responsible for North American air defense. Its mission includes detecting, deterring and preventing potential threats over the airspace of the two countries.

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