F-16s assigned to NORAD were spotted overhead during a campaign rally for President Donald J. Trump, popping flares as it made an alleged interception.
The incident, which took place over Bullhead City, Arizona, on Wednesday afternoon, involved a non-communicative General Aviation aircraft that had meandered into Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) airspace without proper clearance.
With President Trump’s safety at possible risk, Viper drivers wasted no time in intercepting.
The show of force was visible from the ground, and President Trump took notice.
“Wow,” he said. “Look at that sucker! He’s trying to show off for the president.”
Former B-52 pilot and Embry Riddle employee Parker Northrup said that it’s not unthinkable that a plane simply wasn’t aware of the TFR.
“I suspect it was quite a surprise but then the message would also be relatively clear. You want to resolve that hazard as quickly as you can,” said Northrup. “In an area like Arizona where we don’t have these types of visits very often, I would think it’s a pretty rare event,” he said. “Anytime an aircraft or a UAV or drone or anybody enters a temporary flight restriction, by definition you are entering an area where you’re creating a hazard.”
NORAD also commented, stating that they had control of the incident.
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