updated 12/31/2009 2:27:25 PM ET 2009-12-31T19:27:25

Authorities in Florida say military jets escorted down a small plane being flown by a French pilot, who was advised to not get behind the controls of the aircraft because he could not speak in English with officials.

According to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office, the pilot, who owned the Cessna plane, grew indignant when a certified instructor recommended he remain on the ground Wednesday. The pilot disregarded the warning and took off from the Hernando County Airport in Brooksville, about 42 miles north of Tampa.

John Cornelio, a spokesman for North American Aerospace Defense Command, said two fighter jets were dispatched to turn around the pilot, who landed at a South Florida airfield.

The sheriff's office says the pilot won't face criminal charges.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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