Fighter jets scramble to intercept unresponsive plane close to where Donald Trump is staying

Sonic boom causes panic among people living close to Trump estate

Rachel Roberts@TheRachelPaper
Saturday 18 February 2017 20:41
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Two F-15 fighter jets scrambled to reach an unresponsive plane in the Palm Beach area close to where the President is staying
Two F-15 fighter jets scrambled to reach an unresponsive plane in the Palm Beach area close to where the President is staying

Two fighter jets flew at supersonic speed to intercept an unresponsive aircraft that flew close to Palm Beach, Florida while President Donald Trump was staying nearby.

The incident, which occurred around 7pm local time on Friday, caused a “sonic boom” for startled residents as the planes raced from their base in Homestead, near the President's Mar-a-Lago estate.

Several people are said to have called 911 but panic was alleviated for the aviation authorities once the two F-15 planes were able to establish contact with the unresponsive aircraft.

A statement from the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) said: “The intent of military intercepts is to have the identified aircraft re-establish communications with local Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air traffic controllers and instruct the pilot to follow air traffic controllers' instructions to land safely for follow-on action.”

This is not the first time a rogue aircraft in Mr Trump's vicinity has caused a security scare. Earlier this month, a private plane came closer than permitted to Presidential carrier Air Force One while flying over Florida.

The planes reportedly came so close together that the two pilots could see each other while flying on parallel routes.

Although the earlier incident is still under investigation by authorities, there was reportedly no risk of a collision and Mr Trump arrived safely at Palm Beach International Airport.

When the President is in flight, Secret Service agents work with FAA supervisors and monitors for threats. Other flights are often delayed or diverted to create extra space around Air Force One.

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