updated 4/24/2009 1:20:39 PM ET 2009-04-24T17:20:39

The U.S. Capitol was briefly evacuated Friday, and the White House was locked down briefly after an airplane was reported headed into restricted Capitol airspace.

At the White House, reporters and photographers were not permitted to walk outside the press working area for a few minutes. A short time later, the lockdown was over.

Sgt. Kimberly Schneider, a Capitol Police spokeswoman, said a plane had been headed toward Capitol airspace, prompting the threat level to be raised to orange from green. Authorities were able to contact the pilot and he agreed to change course, she said.

The pilot was then escorted by other aircraft and landed at nearby Indian Head Airport.

At the Capitol, reporters were cleared from the House of Representatives and Senate press galleries but were allowed back about 10 minutes later.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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