LOS ANGELES — The North American Aerospace Defense Command scrambled two F-16 fighter jets Friday to intercept a small plane that violated restricted airspace as President Barack Obama was about to depart from Los Angeles.
NORAD said the intercept of the Piper 28 aircraft occurred at approximately 9:45 a.m. PDT and the jets followed it until it landed about five minutes later. NORAD said the plane was met by local law enforcement.
El Monte police Lt. Dan Burlingham said the Piper landed at the city's small airport east of Los Angeles and the pilot was detained until Secret Service agents took the man into custody.
"It appears as far as we know that it was just a mistake," Burlingham said.
Obama left aboard Air Force One from Los Angeles International Airport after a fundraising visit.