F16s scrambled to intercept 75-year-old in kit plane

 

Myrtle Rose, a plucky 75-year-old, was no match for the two US Air Force F16 jet fighters when they intercepted her in the skies over Chicago last week and dipped their wings in a signal that she had better turn around and head back to wherever she had come from.

Piloting a kit plane called a Kitfox Model 2, Ms Rose did just that and before long she was safely back on the ground at Mill Rose Farm Airport near the suburb of South Barrington.

It was only there that she learned of her mistake: erring into restricted airspace declared out of bounds during a visit to Chicago by President Barack Obama.

Not that she let the incident upset her too much, according to South Barrington Deputy Police Chief Ray Cordell who met her soon afterwards. "She was unaware that she had entered restricted air space," Mr Cordell said. "Surprised was probably the right term."

The Illinois Daily Herald reported that Ms Rose is the widow of one of the founders of South Barrington, and several aircraft are registered in her late husband's name.

Mr Cordell noted it wasn't every day that jet fighters fly over a normally tranquil suburb, which has a population of some 4,500 people.

A spokesman for Norad, North American Aerospace Defence Command, said fighters were scrambled when air traffic controllers could not warn Ms Rose of her mistake.

The reason why they were unable to contact her is understandable – Ms Rose's kit plane has no radio.

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