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3 small planes violate UN no-fly zone

Fighter jets escorted three small planes Monday out of temporary no-fly zones set up around Manhattan as President Barack Obama and other world leaders convene for the United Nations General Assembly, authorities said.

Two F-16 jets were first dispatched in the late afternoon for one plane, and stayed up as two other pilots also strayed into the restricted air space, all within two hours, said the North American Aerospace Defense Command, which safeguards the airspace over the United States and Canada.

The planes were forced to land at nearby airports out of the restricted zone and were met by law enforcement officers, the agency said.

It all happened after Obama arrived in town about 1 p.m., a day before his headline speech Tuesday at the United Nations's 68th session of the General Assembly.

The first plane, a single-engine Diamond aircraft, strayed at about 4:40 p.m. into the no-fly zone 20 miles southwest of Kennedy Airport in Queens, the Federal Aviation Administration said. It landed at Monmouth Executive Airport in Belmar, N.J.

The second plane entered the restricted air space 20 miles east of Kennedy Airport and was headed to Maryland, an aviation source said. The third plane entered the no-fly area 20 miles west of Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, the source said. Other details were not available.

The FAA ban, issued Sept. 4, limits flights over the New York City region from Sept. 18-30. Pilots are supposed to get weather briefings, updates and restrictions on their routes before taking off.

NORAD said the three pilots also failed to keep in continuous communications with the local air traffic control towers, a requirement under the FAA ban.

The FAA restrictions allow only flights by law enforcement, certain regularly scheduled commercial passenger and cargo planes, and emergency, lifesaving missions, the FAA advisory said.

Those who violate the air space can face civil penalties, license suspension or revocation, and criminal charges, according to the FAA's advisory.

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