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Obama in L.A.: Three planes intercepted in restricted airspace

June 7, 2012 | 11:18 am

Federal officials are investigating the flights of three private aircraft that illegally entered restricted airspace set up for President Obama's visit to the Los Angeles area

Federal officials are investigating the flights of three private aircraft that Thursday morning illegally entered restricted airspace set up for President Obama's visit to the Los Angeles area.

A spokesman for the Secret Service said that one single-engine plane landed at Chino Airport about 6 a.m. and two other small aircraft, a Cessna 206 and a Piper Cherokee, were escorted out of the temporary no-fly zone by F-16 fighter jets between 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.

According to the Secret Service, there is no indication at this time that the flights presented a threat to the president, who has been attending several fundraisers in the Los Angeles area.

Chino police said they received a request from federal officials at about 6 a.m. to locate a small private plane that had landed at the city's airport after straying into restricted areas.

A spokesperson said officers found the Mooney M20 and detained the pilot until Secret Service officers arrived. Police described the pilot as cooperative.

On Wednesday, an F-16 fighter jet intercepted a small, private plane and escorted it to Camarillo Airport after the aircraft entered the president's restricted airspace during one of the fundraisers.

The single-engine Cessna 177 was intercepted and forced to land shortly before 5 p.m., according to a statement from the North American Aerospace Defense Command.

Obama was at the Beverly Hilton Hotel at the time and was later taken to the Regent Beverly Wilshire for a 600-person campaign fundraiser held by gay and lesbian supporters.

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-- Dan Weikel

Photo: President Obama steps off of Air Force One as he arrives Wednesday at Los Angeles International Airport. Credit: Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press

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