A light plane from Santa Barbara County was forced to land by military fighters, after the plane flew through restricted airspace near the President’s helicopter near Los Angeles International Airport around noon yesterday.
Air traffic controllers say the plane out of Santa Maria didn’t respond to repeated radio warnings that it was in a restricted zone. As the President’s helicopter approached LAX from Orange County, the helicopter pilot could see the light plane, but it was some distance away, and the chopper was able to land without incident.
Two Air Force jet scrambled to the scene forced the plane to land at Long Beach Airport. It was met by federal and local law enforcment officers. The Secret Service said the plane never posed a threat to the President. However, the pilot may be facing bigger probems, because authorities discovered more than 20 pounds of marijuana on board the plane.
It’s unclear where the plane was headed. The name of the pilot hasn’t been released.