Multiple Cessna planes intercepted by F-16s during President Obama's Treasure Coast golf trip

The aircraft violated the flight restriction zone

STUART, Fla. -- - President Obama's visit to the Treasure Coast for a 3-day golf excursion might have been the focal point of attention for many, but not everyone noticed President Obama was in town.

A few unaware pilots where made aware when they got a little too close to President Obama.

Roaring through the sky at speeds that could break the sound barrier, it was two F-16 fighter jets on Saturday that got the attention of a pilot flying his Cessna aircraft in the wrong place.

"You don't see stuff like that all the time, especially F-16s being close to normal civilian areas," said Jeremiah Long, who witnessed the plane being intercepted.

Long, who spots planes as a hobby, saw the Cessna being forced down at the Martin County airport after it got too close to President Obama's golf outing at the Floridian Golf and Yacht club in Palm City.

"You just heard constant circling," said Long. "It was loud and rumbling."

Before taking off, pilots are supposed to check for any temporary flight restrictions or TFRs. There is always a 30-mile radius surrounding the U.S. Commander and Chief. If a small aircraft crosses into the space, the pilot is intercepted by the military and could lose their license.

"The last thing you want to see is an F-16 come up on your wing tip, fully loaded with weapons and he has the authority to shoot you down," said David Bjellos, who is a pilot and flight expert.

Bjellos said not one plane that has entered any presidents air space has ever been shot down. He said no one really ever means to do cross into the restricted area because they get interrogated, fined and might lose the chance to fly again.

The FAA confirmed four separate incidents occurred in the weekend President Obama was visiting the Treasure Coast. All are still under investigation and the FAA has not released any names of the pilots.

 

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