White House, Capitol Evacuated - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/11/05

White House, Capitol Evacuated

Parts of the White  House, Capitol building and Supreme Court were evacuated this morning. The evacuations were prompted by a security scare when a small plane apparently entered restricted airspace over the White House. The FAA confirmed it was tracking an unidentified aircraft believed to be a small plane, not a commercial jet.

White House Spokesman Scott McClellan said, "The cessna was traveling in restricted airspace towards the White House and Capitol. The pilot was not responding to efforts to communicate with the plane. At 12:03 p.m. (ET) the alert level was raised to red.

Fighter jets were scrambled and there was an eyewitness report that warning flares were fired at the unidentified airplane. A motorcade of six or seven cars left the White House during the evacuation.

The single engine cessna was three miles from the White House before it turned away. It is registered to a pilot from Pennsylvania. Fighter jets forced him to land in Frederick, Maryland, about 30 miles from the district.

Federal officials are now questioning that pilot, trying to determine exactly what happened.
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