07:27 GMT +318 October 2019
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    Air Force Jets in One Weekend Scramble Five Times Over Trump Florida Mansion

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    US Air Force jets were scrambled five times over a single weekend to intercept general-aviation aircraft that strayed into the air space over the Trump mansion at Palm Beach, Florida.

    Overall, 12 civilian aircraft violated the no-fly zone over Palm Beach, Florida, where US President Donald Trump prefers to spend his weekends at his Mar-a-Lago club. At least five planes required scrambling US Air Force aircraft, as they did not respond to Federal Aviation Administration hails.

    "Twelve private aircraft violated the temporary flight restriction around Palm Beach since Friday," the FAA said in a statement. "The FAA will investigate each incident and will take appropriate enforcement action."

    Earlier on Friday, residents of Palm Beach were startled by loud sonic booms, the explosion-like aftereffect of an aircraft reaching supersonic speeds. Early reports suggested the sound was a result of military exercises involving F-35C fighter jets, but it was later revealed to be two F-15 Screaming Eagles scrambling to intercept a civilian intruder.

    Two F-16s were scrambled later, but did not reach supersonic speeds and so did not cause undue disturbance to those below. Once the F-16s got close to the plane in the southwest section of the restricted area, Air Force pilots established communication and told the civilian pilot to leave the area, which they promptly did, according to Sgt. Chuck Marsh, a spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and US Northern Command.

    Over the course of one weekend, five planes required US Air Force intervention.

    According to security protocol, the airspace above the immediate location of the US president is a no-fly-zone. If a pilot violates the no-fly zone, the FAA quickly attempts to contact the pilot, and, if they do not respond, a military aircraft is dispatched to intercept.

    "The intent of military intercepts is to have the identified aircraft re-establish communications with local FAA air traffic controllers and instruct the pilot to follow air traffic controllers' instructions to land safely for follow-on action," the FAA statement reads.


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