The Bidens were at the Rehoboth Beach home when the private plane mistakenly entered restricted airspace, prompting the brief evacuation, the White House and the Secret Service said. The were able to return shortly afterward when it was determined they faced no danger.
“A small private plane entered restricted airspace, all indications are by mistake, and precautionary measures were taken,” a White House official told reporters. “There was no threat to the President or his family.”
REHOBOTH, Delaware- At 12:52p, I saw @POTUS motorcade race into the Rehoboth Fire Station. I saw President Biden through the window of a SUV. Right before the motorcade, I saw 2 military jets flying low over the beach town. The press pool is not with the motorcade.
— Bo Erickson CBS (@BoKnowsNews) June 4, 2022
The Secret Service said the plane was immediately escorted from the restricted airspace after “mistakenly entering a secured area.” The pilot, who was not on the proper radio channel and was not following published flight guidance, according to a preliminary investigation, was slated to be interviewed.
The Federal Aviation Administration published flight restrictions earlier this week before Biden’s beach town visit, as is standard operating procedure. The restrictions include a 10-mile radius no-fly zone contained with a 30-mile restricted zone.
A CBS News reporter tweeted that he saw Biden being driven to a Rehoboth Beach fire station. The group of reporters that travels with the president was not part of the motorcade.
“At 12:52p, I saw [Biden’s] motorcade race into the Rehoboth Fire Station,” Bo Erickson wrote. “I saw President Biden through the window of a SUV. Right before the motorcade, I saw 2 military jets flying low over the beach town.”
Pilots are required to check for flight restrictions along their route before taking off. U.S. military jets and Coast Guard helicopters are often used to intercept any planes that violate the flight restrictions around the president, according to The Associated Press. Intercepted planes are diverted to a nearby airfield where aircrews are interviewed by law enforcement and face potential criminal or civil penalties.
Biden has faced questions and criticism for leaving Washington for his beach home on many weekends. According to the Washington Examiner, Biden has spent 188 full or partial days away from the White House, with 130 spent at his Delaware properties, 52 at Camp David, and six in Nantucket. That puts him on pace to spend roughly 553 days away from the White House over his first term. Former President Donald Trump spent 381 days away from the White House while in office, and former President Barack Obama spent 328 days out over two terms, the Washington Examiner reported.