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Mon, Apr 16, 2007

Air Force Intercepts Plane Near Camp David

President Was Expected At Vacation Retreat

The Federal Aviation Administration states a US Air Force jet intercepted an as-yet unidentified small aircraft north of Frederick, MD on Saturday afternoon.

According to the Frederick News Post, FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown refused to say if the private plane had entered restricted airspace at Camp David, but Frederick resident Steve Chambers said he saw it from his property, located just north of Camp David.

The jet and the private plane were heading south from that area shortly after 2 pm, with the private plane coming into view first, said Chambers.

"Then a jet fighter came right up on it. The fighter jet was doing big, clockwise circles around the private plane."

Chambers said by the time the planes got to his house, the private plane started going west instead of south.

"He was way banked over at a 45 degree angle. It was like an air show," he said.

The private plane later landed at the Montgomery County Airpark in Gaithersburg, MD. No further word was released on the pilot's possible incursion, the pilot, the plane, or its destination.

Above Camp David is P-40, one of the most violated airspaces because restrictions change frequently. P-40 is a circle around Camp David three nautical miles in radius and 12,500 feet high.

When the president is in residence, P-40 expands to 10 nautical miles because a no-fly zone follows the president. FAA regulations make it illegal to fly over or near the president. When P-40 fully expands, it reaches almost to Hagerstown and Frederick, MD, and I-70 passes through its southwest quadrant.

FMI: www.faa.gov

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