Thursday, May 12, 2005

Federal Pilots to Cessna: 'You will land that aircraft': "Two lost aviators flying with outdated maps from a rural Pennsylvania airstrip triggered a red alert at the White House yesterday, along with the frantic evacuation of the Capitol and the Supreme Court, before they were intercepted by Air Force jets lobbing warning flares.

"The 15-minute aerial encounter, watched by rapt workers in downtown Washington office buildings, turned out to be a blunder by confused fliers in a small plane, but it illustrated how easily potential danger can trip the capital's tightly wired alert systems."

"Capitol Police Chief Terrance W. Gainer said: 'This guy probably came as close as he could come without getting shot out of the air.'"

"In Pennsylvania, relatives and neighbors expressed shock that Martin and Sheaffer had wound up in so much trouble while on a flight to an air show in Lumberton, N.C."

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