Flight from Hilton Head strays into unauthorized airspace

Flight from Hilton Head strays into unauthorized airspace

January 1, 2011

WASHINGTON – The pilots of a Piedmont flight from Hilton Head, S.C. to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport are being interviewed by Homeland Security officials after their plane strayed into restricted airspace and forced the brief evacuation of the U.S. Capitol Saturday.

A Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman tells WTOP the flight in question was Piedmont 4352.
The flight temporarily went out of radio contact with the air traffic controllers, the FAA says.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command scrambled jets after contact was lost.
Contact with the flight was reestablished, and the flight landed at Reagan National.
U.S. Capitol Police send House staffers the following e-mail to evacuate Saturday:

  • An unauthorized aircraft has entered restricted air space.
  • Evacuate immediately the Capitol, CHOB, LHOB and RHOB buildings.
  • Remain calm and move in a safe manner to the exits.
  • Close doors behind you, but do not lock. Avoid using elevators.
  • Proceed south to an alternate assembly area.
  • Check-in with your Office Emergency Coordinator at the alternate assembly area.
  • Ford Building personnel remain inside the Ford building.

WTOP’s Max Smith contributed to this story.
(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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