April 15, 2024

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware – President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden were transported to a safe location for about 30 minutes on Saturday after a small plane entered the secure airspace over the family’s Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, house.

The White House said in a statement that “a small private plane entered restricted airspace, all indications are by mistake, and precautionary measures were taken.”

“There was no threat to the President or his family,” the White House added.

The Bidens left the secure location at 1:29pm ET. The White House confirmed they went back to their residence by around 2:05 p.m. ET.

“The aircraft was immediately escorted out of the restricted airspace. 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,” the Secret Service said.

The Secret Service said they will be interviewing the pilot.

The aircraft was a  single-engine Cessna 172 that entered the restricted air space with no flight plan and without communicating with air traffic control, according to North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

The Cessna was “intercepted” by two F-15 fighter jets and an MH-65 helicopter off the Cape May coastline, NORAD said.

The plane landed at Cape May Airport at 1:11 p.m. local time.  

Officials at a local fire station said the Secret Service notified them around 12:48 p.m. that they would be arriving with the Bidens. 

Rehoboth Beach resident Susan Lillard told CBS News she saw a small white plane flying near Cape Henlopen State Park, which is near the president’s beach home. Lillard then said she saw two planes scramble into the air a few minutes later. 

CBS News also saw these two jets flying low over the downtown area of the beach town.  

Hundreds of onlookers gathered around the fire station about five blocks from a nearby beach because Secret Service officers were stopping all pedestrians and traffic.   

The motorcade arrived at 12:52 p.m. and the Bidens waited in an SUV inside the fire station for roughly 37 minutes, Rehoboth Beach Fire Department chief Chuck Snyder told CBS News.

Snyder told CBS News his fire department has previously practiced emergency response drills with the Secret Service. 

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