California News

Feb 17, 2012 9:02 PM by Ariel Wesler

Local plane entered no-fly zone during president's visit

A Grover Beach man's plane strays into President Obama's no fly zone during his California visit and drugs are found once it lands. The president was onboard Marine One headed to Los Angeles.

Two fighter jets forced the private plane to land in Long Beach yesterday after the pilot did not respond to air traffic controllers. Once the plane landed, officials found drugs inside.

The Secret Service says President Obama was never in any danger, but the situation certainly raised some red flags. The FAA requires pilots to any flight restrictions that may be in effect before they fly.

The Cessna 182 was registered to 52-year-old David Major of Grover Beach, but the FAA told KSBY News he was not flying the plane. Two air force F-16 fighter jets intercepted the Cessna around 11:30 Thursday morning.

Once the plane landed at the Long Beach airport, police discovered 40 pounds of marijuana inside. Officers have the pilot in custody, but will not release the identity right now because of the continuing drug investigation.

Pilots who violate restricted airspace could have their pilot's license revoked or face hefty fines. The FAA says most of those violations result in 30 to 90-day suspensions.

Private aircraft are typically not allowed to fly within 10 miles of any plane or helicopter carrying the president.


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