Skip to main content
Search
Services
SCIENCE & SPACE

Small plane enters shuttle no-fly zone

Pilot disappears after being forced to land

From Mike Mount
CNN Washington Bureau

YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS

Kennedy Space Center

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The pilot of a small plane that penetrated the no-fly zone around Kennedy Space Center shortly before the space shuttle's launch Tuesday disappeared after being forced to land, Air Force officials said.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating, the officials said Thursday.

The civilian Piper Cub had gotten within 20 miles of the launch site just three minutes before Discovery's liftoff before being intercepted by two Air Force F-16s.

That means the small plane had penetrated half of the 40-mile temporary no-fly radius set up by the FAA.

The fighters were flying security patrol and deployed three flares to get the pilot's attention, the officials said.

The fighters escorted the plane to an airport about 50 miles north of Kennedy Space Center, they said.

When law enforcement officers got to the airport, the aircraft was on the ground, but the pilot was gone, the officials said.

Story Tools
Subscribe to Time for $1.99 cover
Top Stories
Get up-to-the minute news from CNN
CNN.com gives you the latest stories and video from the around the world, with in-depth coverage of U.S. news, politics, entertainment, health, crime, tech and more.
Top Stories
Get up-to-the minute news from CNN
CNN.com gives you the latest stories and video from the around the world, with in-depth coverage of U.S. news, politics, entertainment, health, crime, tech and more.
Search JobsMORE OPTIONS


 
Search
© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.
Offsite Icon External sites open in new window; not endorsed by CNN.com
Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more
Radio News Icon Download audio news  |  RSS Feed Add RSS headlines