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Off-Course Plane Prompts Brief Evacuation in the C

Discussion in 'News' started by casekonly, May 11, 2005.

  1. casekonly

    casekonly Veteran Member

    Joined: Aug 6, 2002 Messages: 8,264 Likes Received: 5
    WASHINGTON, May 11 - A single-engine plane bearing down on Washington without clearance prompted a frantic evacuation of the Capitol, the Supreme Court and the White House on Wednesday. President Bush was not told of the threat until he finished a bicycle ride at a Maryland wildlife center, nearly 40 minutes after the plane had been forced to turn away, administration officials said.
    Enlarge This Image
    Doug Mills/The New York Times

    Senate workers evacuated their office building as word spread of the errant plane.
    Forum: National Security

    Enlarge This Image
    Doug Mills/ The New York Times

    Senate workers evacuated an office building on Wednesday afternoon.

    The incident briefly put the capital at its highest stage of alert as the plane flew toward the city, violating restricted airspace rules put in effect around Washington after the Sept. 11 attacks.

    After it was chased by a Black Hawk helicopter and two fighters fired warning flares, the Cessna, which was flown by a pilot and his student who apparently veered off course, finally responded. The pilots were questioned and released Wednesday afternoon, but not before their errant flight set off waves of anxiety in Washington.

    At the Capitol, the evacuation took place so quickly that women's shoes were abandoned on the outside steps and food was strewn down a hallway outside a Senate restaurant. At the Supreme Court, three justices were whisked into an underground parking garage. And at the White House, the threat prompted the Secret Service to evacuate Vice President Dick Cheney and move Laura Bush and Nancy Reagan, who happened to be visiting, to a safer location.

    Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, was presiding over the chamber when alarms sounded, her aides said. Ms. Murkowski raced from the podium, then quickly doubled back to announce, "The chair will recess, the chair stands in recess" before making for the door.

    Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, was in a telephone booth in the cloakroom at the time. "They knocked on the glass, and I could see the look of alarm on the attendant's face," he said.

    Capitol Police officers began shouting to stragglers, "Run, run, this is for real!" At the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in suburban Maryland, a half-hour's drive from the White House, Mr. Bush's Secret Service detail - following him on bicycles and in vehicles as he got some midday exercise after returning the previous night from a five-day trip to Russia, Latvia, Georgia and the Netherlands - decided not to inform him of what was unfolding, said Scott McClellan, the White House spokesman.

    Mr. McClellan said the members of the security detail had decided that Mr. Bush need not be informed because there was no danger to him and because procedures for intercepting the airplane, evacuating buildings in Washington and increasing security at the White House did not require his authorization.

    Mr. McClellan said Mr. Bush was told of the incident at 12:50 p.m., after his ride with a high school friend. Asked whether Mr. Bush wished he had been informed earlier, Mr. McClellan replied: "The president has great trust in his security detail. He was never in any danger, and the protocols that were in place were followed."

    The scare started at 11:28 a.m., when the Cessna was picked up by Federal Aviation Administration radar headed west by southwest, toward Washington from Maryland, as it approached a restricted air zone that is roughly the shape of a Mickey Mouse hat and covers the 23-mile area around each of the region's three major airports.

    The plane was flown by Hayden W. Sheaffer of Lancaster County, Pa., with Troy Martin at his side, law enforcement officials said. Mr. Martin's wife, Jill, said her husband, a 36-year-old salesman, was a student pilot, according to The Associated Press.

    The two men flew from the Smoketown Airport in Lancaster County and were headed to an air show in Lumberton, N.C., the officials said. Their flight plan was not supposed to take them into restricted zones around Baltimore and Washington, where they need advance clearance.

    "They were going to fly between two restricted zones," Ms. Martin told The A.P. "They were going to avoid them."

    A spokesman for the F.A.A., Greg Martin, said, "It looks like these guys drew a line with a ruler in a Rand-McNally Atlas," referring to their flight path through the Washington area.


    so, laura bush and her daughter(s) where rusghed to the bomb shelter in the basement and dick cheney was taken out of the white house in less than a minute and a half after the plane was spotted coming too close...wtf is up with that?
  2. !@#$%

    [email protected]#$% Moderator Crew

    Joined: Oct 1, 2002 Messages: 18,517 Likes Received: 623
    hahhaa they didn't even BOTHER to tell bush

    what the fuck???!?!
    he's really our go-to-guy isn't he.
    very comforting.
  3. villain

    villain Veteran Member

    Joined: Jul 12, 2002 Messages: 5,190 Likes Received: 2
    Haha... yeah if he wasn't so damn powerful he would be the gopher grunt of any organization.
    I find this interesting that it follows the inactive grenade scare in georgia the other day.
    I guess there is an increase in "terrorist chatter". Duct tape time? Oh wait elections are still a few years off to start scaring people.
  4. fermentor666

    fermentor666 Veteran Member

    Joined: Sep 27, 2003 Messages: 8,152 Likes Received: 15
    They didn't tell Bush because he wasn't near the White House. He was participating in recreational vacation activities.
  5. ODS-1

    ODS-1 Elite Member

    Joined: Jul 21, 2003 Messages: 3,575 Likes Received: 0
    How much damage could anybody do in one of those things anyway? That thing is smaller than a car!!!
  6. ledzep

    ledzep Junior Member

    Joined: Feb 21, 2002 Messages: 146 Likes Received: 1
    the new weapon of terrorism
  7. hopeizm

    hopeizm Member

    Joined: Oct 3, 2003 Messages: 578 Likes Received: 1
    He probley would have just carried on his day anyway....