Another plane busts the Washington ADIZ

Less than two weeks after a Cessna 150 violated the Washington ADIZ and caused evacuation of the White House and Capitol Hill buildings, another incursion, involving a Cessna 340A, brought a brief elevation in the terror alert level before the plane was led to a Maryland airport.

The plane departed New Orleans and was on an IFR flight plan to the Montgomery County/Gaithersburg Airpark, but bad weather intervened. As the plane approached the Washington ADIZ, it was struck by lightning, knocking out some of its communications and avionics.

Loss of communication and a path diverting away from the destination airport brought out the intercept F-16s from Andrews Air Force Base. The Canadian-registered airplane with four persons aboard missed the airpark and was traveling away from downtown Washington when the interceptors made contact. Flares were dropped and the F-16s led the Cessna to a landing at its intended destination, where the party was met by federal and local law authorities. The four people were questioned for more than four hours by the FBI and other security officials before a decision was made not to file charges. Because the pilot is Canadian, the FAA has no authority over his pilot certification.

The following morning an avionics repair station on the airpark repaired the electrical system and the party continued on its way.

A newly-activated red and green laser system used to warn aircraft entering the ADIZ was not working at the time of the incident because of inclement weather.

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