F-16 fighter jets over Lake Tahoe confront aircraft that violated restricted airspace as Biden vacations

FILE - Two F-16 jets from the Homestead Air Reserve Base fly over during pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 16, 2014, in Homestead, Florida. (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) scrambled fighter jets Friday after an aircraft was detected too close to President Biden's location.

Alarms were activated at NORAD when a civilian aircraft was detected in the temporarily restricted area of Lake Tahoe in Nevada on Friday morning. President Biden has been vacationing on the California side of the lake since Tuesday.

"Two NORAD F-16 fighter aircraft and a U.S. Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin responded to a civilian aircraft that violated a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) area near Lake Tahoe, Nevada, this morning," NORAD wrote in a statement.

"During this event, the fighter aircraft dispensed flares – that may have been visible to the public – to gain attention from the pilot. Flares were employed with the highest regard for the safety of the intercepted aircraft and people on the ground," the statement continued. 

The civilian aircraft violated Federal Aviation Administration regulations by flying into restricted airspace surrounding the current location of the president.

After intervention by NORAD fighters, the unauthorized aircraft was escorted out of the area without incident.


"The situation was resolved without incident and with no impact to the President," the White House told the press later the same day.

According to the FAA, "No person may operate an aircraft over or in the vicinity of any area to be visited or traveled by the President, the Vice President, or other public figures contrary to the restrictions established by the FAA and published in a NOTAM."

Biden and his family are staying at an exclusive home on the shores of Lake Tahoe in Nevada this week amid the special counsel investigation into his son Hunter.

FILE - US President Joe Biden walks towards reporters after taking a pilates class followed by a spin class with First Lady Jill Biden and members of their family in South Lake Tahoe, California on August 23, 2023.  (MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)


According to the White House, the Bidens are renting the $18 million home of environmental activist, businessman and former Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer at fair market value for a nine-day vacation following the president's trip to Hawaii to survey damage from the recent devastating wildfires.

Biden is being joined on the vacation, which began Tuesday, by first lady Jill Biden, their daughter Ashley, son Hunter, his wife Melissa Cohen, their son Beau, and a number of grandchildren.

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