US fighter jet intercepts Cessna flying in restricted airspace over New York

By John Annese and Bill Sanderson / New York Daily News (TNS)

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A Cessna 182 single-engine aircraft was escorted by an F-16 fighter jet into the skies near New York on Tuesday afternoon after it flew over a no-fly zone set up for the reunion of the United Nations General Assembly, officials said.

The small plane was spotted near the George Washington Bridge around 2 p.m. EST, said the North American Aerospace Defense Command – known by the acronym NORAD.

“An F-16 fighter jet intercepted a small single-engine general aviation aircraft that violated the temporary flight restriction zone near #NYC,” the agency tweeted. “The aircraft was escorted out of the TFR without incident at approx. 2:00 p.m. EDT. # OperationNobleEagle.

The agency said violations of the temporarily restricted airspace “do occur from time to time and are part of normal NORAD operations.”

Some Twitter users were quick enough to record the fighter plane as it roared across the sky on Tuesday, while others pointed out the noise.

“A fighter jet breaking through the sound barrier over New York on a Monday afternoon, very normal stuff,” one Twitter user wrote.

It is not uncommon for pilots of small airplanes to walk by mistake in no-fly zones. “It is going virtually without incident,” said Ken Paskar, an aviation professional from New York.

Although the restrictions are published by the Federal Aviation Administration and widely known in the aviation world, some pilots still don’t hear about them, Paskar said.

The fighter pilots will signal the airmen “to follow the landing at the nearest airport, and they comply normally … Usually they are shocked because they are not aware,” Paskar said.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident, a spokesperson said.

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