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Fighters sent after Air Force 1 space is violated

A small aircraft flying near the Seattle airfield where Air Force 1 was parked Tuesday triggered a scramble by military fighter jets that caused two sonic booms, authorities said.
/ Source: NBC News and news services

A float plane flying near the Seattle airfield where Air Force One was parked Tuesday triggered a scramble by military fighter jets, resulting in two sonic booms that set off car alarms and caused a failure in a 911 system, authorities said.

A Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said the pilot landed on the north end of Lake Washington, about eight miles from Boeing Field, before the fighters arrived. The FAA said the pilot was being questioned by authorities.

A Secret Service spokesman said the incident "appears to be a routine violation of the temporary flight restriction" in place for Air Force One.

President Barack Obama was in Seattle on Tuesday to stump for Sen. Patty Murray on a three-day campaign swing for endangered Democrats, and the airspace around Boeing Field was restricted.

A spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command, John Cornelio, said the F-15 jets were sent from Portland, Ore. Cornelio says the fighters were from the Guard's 142nd Fighter Wing.

KING 5 News reported being flooded with calls and e-mails from people who heard and felt the explosions. Many people reported that their homes shook, KING 5 reported.

Detective Ed Troyer with the Pierce Co. Sheriff's Dept. told KING 5 that the 911 system was down via landlines in areas of Pierce County for a time and car and home alarms were set off by the booms.

Kenmore Air president Todd Banks says the incursion was by a plane that landed at his float plane base on Lake Washington. A passenger, Laura Joseph of Normandy Park, told The Associated Press she and the pilot were returning from Lake Chelan in eastern Washington and didn't know of the flight restrictions.