F-16s scrambled for small plane as Obama leaves LA | world | Hindustan Times
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F-16s scrambled for small plane as Obama leaves LA

Two F-16 fighter jets were scrambled on Friday to intercept a small aircraft that entered restricted air space, apparently inadvertently, as President Barack Obama was leaving Los Angeles, police said.

world Updated: May 12, 2012 12:34 IST

Two F-16 fighter jets were scrambled on Friday to intercept a small aircraft that entered restricted air space, apparently inadvertently, as President Barack Obama was leaving Los Angeles, police said.

The aircraft was forced to land in El Monte Airport, east of Los Angeles, around 10:00am, about the time Obama was taking off in Air Force One bound for Reno, Nevada.

The pilot was interviewed by the president's elite protection squad, the Secret Service, El Monte police spokesman Lieutenant Dan Burlingham said.

It appeared the pilot "wasn't paying attention" and unknowingly violated the restricted air space, Burlingham added.

Obama was in Los Angeles for a star-studded fundraiser late Thursday at A-list actor George Clooney's home in Studio City, in the hills north of Hollywood.

A similar incident happened when Obama visited Los Angeles in February, with F-16s scrambled to intercept a light aircraft. Other similar events have occurred in the past elsewhere, amid ratchet-tight security around the traveling president.