Political News

Armed F-15 fighter jet diverted from Trump protection mission after in-flight emergency

Posted May 4, 2020 5:04 p.m. EDT

— An armed F-15 fighter jet ran off the runway at Joint Base Andrews on Saturday, having diverted there after a sudden in-flight emergency while flying over Camp David during President Donald Trump's stay, two US defense officials told CNN.

The military did not specifically say what type of in-flight emergency forced the pilot to divert to Andrews, located in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC. Any incidents at Andrews are always sensitive because Air Force One is housed there and government officials fly in and out of the airfield routinely.

"The aircraft's landing gear malfunctioned and the aircraft came to rest on its fuselage. There were no injuries to the pilot and runway operations have been unaffected by the incident. The incident is under investigation," according to the spokesperson.

The aircraft was from the 142nd Fighter Wing of the Oregon Air National Guard. The pilot was uninjured and runway operations were not impacted.

The aircraft was on an armed combat air patrol for the North American Aerospace Defense Command under Operation Noble Eagle, according to a base spokesperson.

Since the September 11, 2001 attacks, those armed patrols have been flown to keep unauthorized aircraft out of restricted airspace, such as the skies over the White House, the Capitol and anywhere the President of the United States might be. On Saturday, those restrictions included Camp David because Trump was there.

The military did not put out a public statement on Saturday when the incident occurred. A second official told CNN that over the weekend they were authorized to only answer questions if asked because the mission was "sensitive."

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