US fighter jets scrambled to intercept aircraft

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10:52 AM August 5th, 2012

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August 5th, 2012 10:52 AM

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WASHINGTON – Two F-16 fighters were scrambled in the Washington metropolitan area Saturday after a small plane that ignored attempts at radio contact was detected in flight, the US military said.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command said the fighters intercepted the Beechcraft King Air airplane near the national capital region at approximately 7:00 pm (1100 GMT).

“Following the intercept the aircraft re-established radio communications with air traffic control and was allowed to proceed to its destination,” the NORAD said in a statement.

US fighter jets routinely patrol the national capital area following the September 11, 2001 attacks when one of the hijacked planes was flown into the Pentagon building in Virginia just south of Washington.

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