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Pilots steer clear: Obamas’ Vineyard stay means you can’t fly here

President Obama and his family arrived earlier this month for their annual vacation at Martha’s Vineyard.
President Obama and his family arrived earlier this month for their annual vacation at Martha’s Vineyard.Jonathan Ernst/REUTERS/file

Two fighter jets and a US Coast Guard helicopter intercepted a plane Sunday that had traveled into airspace under temporary restriction during President Obama’s family vacation on Martha’s Vineyard.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command sent two F-15s to investigate as the Coast Guard MH-65, which was already aloft, intercepted the general aviation aircraft, according to Michael Kucharek, a NORAD spokesman. The incident happened around 1 p.m.

“The pilot quickly exited the temporary flight restriction zone after the intercept,” Kucharek said.

The plane flew to Nantucket Memorial Airport, where it was met by local law enforcement. State Police said they have not filed any charges.

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Kucharek said he did not believe the pilot had any “nefarious intent.” NORAD’s involvement ended once the plane was intercepted, he said.

The Federal Aviation Administration publicizes information about temporary flight restrictions, but pilots occasionally overlook such advisories “because they get used to flying this areas,” he said.


Andy Rosen can be reached at andrew.rosen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @andyrosen.