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12 aircraft violate flight restrictions during President Trump's visit

Posted at 2:36 PM, Feb 20, 2017
and last updated 2019-03-26 10:57:18-04

As of midday Monday, 12 private aircraft had violated flight restrictions around Palm Beach County since they were put into effect Friday for this weekend's visit by President Trump, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

On Friday night, some residents heard sonic booms when NORAD Fighters raced to intercept unresponsive general aviation aircraft that had violated airspace.

The FAA says it promises to investigate each incident and "take appropriate enforcement action."

In addition, the FAA says it will continue to reach out and educate local pilots about the restrictions.

"If the president's in town, the answer is, I'm not going to fly," says pilot trainer, Bill Tyson. "This is a very new situation for everyone."

By weekday, Tyson fixes cars. By weekend, he flies. He is less than 10 practice hours away from being a certified pilot himself.

"Right now, I don't know what I don't know. So easy for a guy like to to actually violate one of these restrictions," he says.

The FAA wouldn't provide details about who was in control of each plane in violation.

Tyson knows the first priority is to protect the president, but the rules as they stand go too far.

"I just don't think that anybody's really working on making everybody safe but at the same time making in to where everybody  can fly without worrying about going to jail," he says.

Tyson says the last 3 weekends he hasn't been able to get up and fly, which hinders his training.

The president left Palm Beach County late Monday afternoon.