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Plane forced down after entering restricted air

January 11, 2002

Plane forced down after entering restricted air



A military jet intercepted a plane that flew into restricted air space over Camp David Thursday morning and forced it to land at Hagerstown Regional Airport.

Airport Manager Carolyn Motz confirmed the incident, but said she did not know specific details.

She said there have been similar landings "dozens of times" since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11. On that day, the no-fly zone over Camp David, the presidential retreat in nearby Catoctin Mountain Park, was expanded.

Motz said that some pilots rely on outdated maps that don't show the new restricted zone.

She said the military maneuvers mean security is high and provide "a sense of comfort."

Jim Peters, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration in New York, declined to discuss the incident. He said his department stopped providing information about "pilot deviations" after Sept. 11.

He also would not divulge the boundaries of the no-fly zone.

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Peters said the zone over Camp David expands and contracts, depending on whether anyone is at the retreat and who is there.

Pilots should find out the latest parameters of the zone by contacting their local Flight Service Station for updates known as NOTAMs, or Notices to Airmen, Peters said.

Maryland State Police were called to the scene. A duty officer in Hagerstown said the department would not discuss the incident.

Andrew Schotzx

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