Tue, Feb 05, 2008
Pilot Was Unaware Restricted Space Included BXK
Despite a widely-reported TFR and
the highly visible presence of US military aircraft over the
Phoenix, AZ metropolitan area this weekend, a small plane
apparently violated the no-fly zone Sunday over Glendale.
The Cessna 172 apparently flew about seven miles into the
restricted area covering a 30-mile radius around University of
Phoenix Stadium on Sunday afternoon, reports The Arizona Republic.
The incident occurred about 20 minutes before kickoff of Super Bowl
FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said the plane, which was traveling
from Ryan Field Airport (RYN) in Tucson to Buckeye Municipal
Airport (BXK), was intercepted by military aircraft, and directed
to land at Buckeye.
There is some confusion about what type of aircraft, flying for
what agency, intercepted the Cessna. The FAA initially believed it
was an Arizona ANG F-16, but a National Guard spokesman said those
planes did not intercept the plane. The jet wasn't from nearby Luke
Air Force Base, either.
Buckeye police reported a DHS Black Hawk helicopter was
involved, but as of Monday afternoon those claims hadn't been
verified. Department of Homeland Security officials did meet the
pilot at the Buckeye airport, and questioned him.
A spokesman for the airport said the pilot wasn't aware Buckeye
was included in the TFR. He was flying to the airport to pick up a
The plane never came closer than 20 miles to the stadium,
officials said. It was the only airspace bust during the Super
"For the most part, pilots do a good job being aware of where
they should or shouldn't fly," Gregor said.
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