A U.S. fighter jet intercepted a civilian aircraft that entered restricted airspace during President Trump’s campaign rally in Bullhead City, Arizona, on Wednesday, according to Pentagon officials.
The plane initially was non-responsive but eventually established communication with the military after North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) deployed signal flares.
“At approx. 1400 MDT, NORAD F-16 aircraft investigated a general aviation aircraft that was not in communication with [air traffic control] and entered the Temporary Flight Restriction area surrounding Bullhead City, AZ without proper clearance,” NORAD said in a Twitter post Wednesday evening. “The violating aircraft was non-responsive to initial intercept procedures, but established radio communications after NORAD aircraft deployed signal flares. The aircraft was escorted out of the restricted area by the NORAD aircraft without further incident.”
Airspace around a presidential event is highly restricted.
While the planes reportedly weren’t visible from the ground, Mr. Trump clearly heard it during his speech.
“I love that sound,” the president said, adding that he fought with Democrats to secure additional funding for the Pentagon.