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Fighters scrambled as DC airspace rules violated

From Shawna Shepherd and Mike Ahlers, CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Two F-16s were scrambled as a Cessna 182 briefly violated Washington's airspace
  • The plane was escorted to a Manassas, Virginia, airport

(CNN) -- Two F-16 fighter jets briefly took to the sky over Washington on Monday after a small passenger aircraft violated the capital's airspace restrictions, according to military officials.

A portion of the White House grounds was briefly evacuated during the incident.

The passenger plane -- a Cessna 182 -- was intercepted by the F-16s at 2:19 p.m. EST, a statement from the North American Aerospace Defense Command noted. The plane was escorted to an airport in nearby Manassas, Virginia, where it landed at 2:32 p.m. EST.

The Cessna pilot was a student pilot who initially took off from Warrenton, Virginia, the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed.

The Secret Service will interview the pilot, a spokesman for the agency told CNN.

 
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