Plane escorted to LI airport was no threat
Robert Engel, spokesman for the agency's New York Field Office, said Tuesday that the pilot didn't know about President Barack Obama's visit Monday evening that temporarily restricted some airspace. Obama's plane had landed at Kennedy Airport ahead of a campaign stop in Connecticut.
"This was something that was not a security issue or security threat to the president," Engel said.
The plane -- called a Kitfox and home-built from a kit -- flew over Long Island about 6:30 p.m. when the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, scrambled two F-15 jets from the Barnes Air National Guard base in Massachusetts. With the fighter jet escort, the small plane landed without incident at MacArthur about 7 p.m. and was met by local police.
Agents from the Melville Secret Service office interviewed the pilot, Engel said.
Suffolk police Tuesday referred questions to the FAA.
Engel said he knew of no connection between the plane that landed at MacArthur and a second aircraft that was intercepted about 7:30 p.m. Monday near New Haven, Conn., and flying in a airspace off limits because of the president's visit. That aircraft was allowed to proceed to its destination, NORAD said in a statement.
Pilots violating temporary airspace restrictions can face penalties imposed by the FAA, including pilots license revocation.