For a brief period on Saturday, authorities acted swiftly on fears that President Joe Biden and his wife Jill could be under threat of attack when a small plane ventured into the secure airspace surrounding their vacation home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, as CBS News reports.
Following the incident, the White House issued a statement indicating that “a small private plane entered restricted airspace, all indications are by mistake, and precautionary measures were taken,” adding that it was ultimately determined that there was “no threat to the President or his family.”
Area resident sounds alarm
According to the outlet, at roughly 12:45 p.m., Rehoboth Beach resident Susan Lillard noticed a small plane in the air over the area in which the Bidens reside, an encroachment that is in violation of airspace restrictions typically put into place by the Federal Aviation Administration whenever the commander in chief is somewhere other than the White House.
It was not long after she made that observation that Lillard also spotted two military aircraft scrambling over the popular resort town.
As a precautionary action, the Bidens were whisked away to the safety of a local fire station, where they remained until returning to their residence by approximately 2:05 p.m.
The entire scene caused quite a bit of excitement among locals and tourists alike, with both vehicular and pedestrian traffic on bustling Rehoboth Avenue closed off for over 20 minutes and groups of onlookers gathering near the fire station just blocks from the ocean.
The offending aircraft was declared by North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) to be a Cessna 172 single-engine plane that made its way into the restricted area without a flight plan, and the pilot of which did not engage in communications with air traffic control.
According to the Secret Service, “Preliminary investigation reveals the pilot was not on the proper radio channel, was not following the NOTAMS (Notice to Airmen) that had been filed and was not following published flight guidance.”
In the end, the aircraft was said to have been “intercepted” by two military jets and a helicopter near the Cape May coastline, and its pilot was slated to be interviewed by federal investigators, according to the New York Post.
Ready in Rehoboth
As CBS News noted, Rehoboth Beach Fire Department chief Chuck Synder indicated that he and his staff have engaged in practice emergency response exercises in conjunction with the Secret Service, and it is certainly fitting that they do, given the substantial amount of time Biden spends at his luxury Delaware property.
According to the Washington Examiner, not counting this past weekend’s visit, Biden has been away from the White House a staggering total of 188 days, not even a year and a half into his term in office, with 130 of those split between his two homes in Delaware.
Indeed, following Saturday’s security scare, the president was spotted enjoying a bit of leisurely shore time, as Fox News reported, toting beach bags along a sandy, sun-kissed stretch, seemingly undisturbed by the growing list of escalating crises gripping the nation he purportedly governs.