Antique planes diverted by Bush visit

Oct. 8, 2007 at 8:35 AM
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HAGERSTOWN, Md., Oct. 8 (UPI) -- Four antique planes headed for a Maryland event were escorted from a temporary no-fly zone caused by U.S. President George Bush's visit to a memorial service.

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Anthony Hill of the North American Aerospace Defense Command said fighter jets were sent out after about a dozen planes violated restricted airspace in Maryland and four of the planes were escorted from the area by F-16s, The Washington Post reported Monday.

Kim Bruce, a Secret Service spokeswoman, said the planes landed at nearby airports and agents questioned the pilots.

Several of the antique planes headed for the annual Hagerstown, Md., Fly-In were traveling without radios or flight plans.

FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown said the agency plans to follow up with the pilots and "they could face penalties including suspension of their pilot's license."

"Pilots are supposed to check the notices to airmen that we put out that are in effect for the area," she told the Post.

Tracey Potter, owner of Hagerstown Aircraft Services, said the event usually draws more than 100 planes but this year only about 20 aircraft flew in.

"It really killed our event," Potter said of the no-fly zone. "It's a real kick in the head."

Bush was in the area attended a service at the National Fallen Fighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Md.

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