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Another Obama visit, another three violations of restricted airspace


Mark J. Terrill/AP

President Barack Obama waves as he arrives at LAX, Thursday, May 10, 2012. Obama left Los Angeles Thursday after a series of campaign fundraisers.

For breaking temporary no-fly zones in restricted areas, NORAD dispacted F-16 fighter jets to intercept three general aviation aircraft this week during President Barack Obama's short fundraising trip to Los Angeles.

On Thursday morning, two F-16 fighters, under the direction of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, intercepted a single engine Cessna 206 around 9:00 am, and a single engine Cherokee PA 28 at approximately 9:30 am PDT.

On Wednesday, an F-16 fighter jet intercepted a Cessna 117 northwest of Los Angeles around 4:50 p.m. forcing the plane to land at Camarillo.

The FAA is investigating the incidents, said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer in an email statement to the Associated Press.

Previous planes to violate the president's protected airspace include:


F-16s intercept interloper: President Obama's restricted airspace breached again

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Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

President Barack Obama makes his way aboard Air Force One.

A plane violated President Obama's protected airspace Friday and was intercepted by F-16s dispatched by NORAD.

Obama was leaving LAX (where he had arrived by helicopter from Cheviot Hills) this morning on Air Force One when the incident occurred, notes the L.A. Times.

Two military jets were sent in to respond to the breach of restricted space. "Fighters responded to a temporary flight restriction violation by a Piper 28 aircraft," NORAD said in a statement

The jets intercepted the interloping aircraft and followed it, without incident, until it landed around at approximately 9:50 a.m. where it was greeted by local law enforcement.

This is the second time restrictions to the president's airspace were disregarded in the L.A. area this year. The previous situation involved a Cessna that picked the wrong week to allegedly smuggle drugs.


Legislation lands a second suspect in the battle between lasers and flying machines

laser show laser pointer lasers

Photo by l indien via Flickr Creative Commons

To purposefully point a laser at an aircraft is now a federal offense, and a Los Angeles 18-year-old faces the possibility of up to 10 years in prison for allegedly aiming a green one at an airplane and a helicopter in March.

Adam Gardenhire was arrested Wednesday and charged with two counts of aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft, the second use of new legislation passed last year.

Lasers can blind or distract pilots, according to the FAA, and the growing number of incidents prompted the new measure. More than 3,500 reports were registered last year.

Prosecutors say the man aimed first at a Cessna, and then at the Pasadena police helicopter responding to the pilot's call to authorities.

Lisa Brenner can be reached via Twitter @lisa_brenner


Drug-filled Cessna surrounded by NORAD fighter jets near LAX after breaking Obama no-fly zone

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Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

A small plane picked the wrong week to smuggle drugs into LA.

As President Barack Obama was returning to Los Angeles International Airport aboard Marine One, a plane carrying drugs broke the temporary no-fly zone prompting a swift military reaction, NBC News is reporting.

The president was reportedly never in danger. However, the same may not be true of the single-engine Cessna 182 that found itself surrounded by NORAD fighter jets.

F-16s out of March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County intercepted the small plane and followed it "without incident," according to a NORAD statement, to the Long Beach Airport, where marijuana was discovered inside the aircraft by authorities.