US fighter jets scrambled to intercept aircraft




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.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Noel

    What if it happened in the Phl when a Chinese plane entered our sky?  Would Phl Air Force scramble to intercept?  And what jet?  Tora-Tora ?

    • Bart

      we will use slingshots. hehe..

    • calipso_2100

      The DFA will just say “It’s just an accident”

      • Noel

        Or say it got lost because of bad weather.

      • Mike S

        Sometimes, as a holding operation, this is a good ploy.
        On the other hand flying can be challenging and there are still the possibilities of accidents.Chinese aeroplanes have had lots of real accidents in the past with substantial loss of chinese life.

    • Lucky Luciano

      Lots of international flights enter our airspace and usually land in naia. Tora Tora is a code word not aircraft.

      • Noel

        What about Toro-Toro or Turo-Turo ?

      • Lucky Luciano

        Move along, Noel. There’s nothing for you here. Try wvv,barbie,com

    • Bom

       the air force can only look at the chinese jet in amazement,

      • Noel

        PAF won’t even dare look at them.

    • Public

      I hope our government won’t say;

      “We will solve this issue diplomatically and peacefully”.

      TOINK!!! Joke only.

  • Lucky Luciano

    We definitely need these kinds of aircrafts to guard our territory. I hope they run on LPG… :D


      Agree! Let our scientists start changing some motor parts to suit LPG. Hehehe!

      • Lucky Luciano

        Hahahaha, joke lang about lpg. Kung pwede matipid yun, and if we succeed in Conversion pwede na tayong maging arms dealer, lol.

      • TGM_ERICK


    • Facilitator1

      Let’s speculate (wishful thinking) that our country is fortunate and rich enough to acquire/purchase these aircraft. However, it requires huge operational budget to maintain constant pilot mission-readiness and MAINTENANCE UPKEEP for these aircraft. Notwithstanding, the most challenging part of OWNING such an advance combat aircraft: a NO-KIDDING, QUALIFIED support personnel (e.g. mechanics, AMMO troops, and POL–Petroleum, Oil, & Lubricants specialists) to ensure COMBAT READINESS. 

      FYI, Based on 2006 estimates: $1.5 M is needed for training a pilot candidate to fly–a basic, trainer aircraft. BTW: USAF takes 2 years for a military pilot to be mission ready–from a trainer to combat aircraft. Just imagine the direct and indirect cost of training and qualifying a person to fly. Baka sa maintenance pa lang ng F16s ubos na ang budget ng PINAS. 

      My unsolicited advise to powers-that-be. Invite our allies to provide security/defense for our country. Forget PRIDE (temporarily until we’re militarily capable) but think active, effective DEFENSE against belligerent and imperialistic tendencies of other countries towards our nation. Akin to Japan. Currently, Japan is forbidden to have a “standing” military or the formulation of a traditional military force…PEACE…

      • amelius23

        We will have Fil-Am pilots  who will volunteer to fast track training of our pilots and fly our newly acquired fighter jets from Lockheed Martin. Our govt. is not spend thrift to obtain the advance F-16 fighter jets from U.S. A. and/or Israel? 

      • Facilitator1

        Volunteering and learning to fly this complicated, advance combat aircraft is not enough to be mission or combat ready. Fast tracking training for convenience/necessity is the surest way to lose our limited, valuable resources and an illogical approach to combat readiness. Constant pilot upgrade training is required and expected to survive an air combat. F16s are too precious and expensive just to be used as target practice by our would-be enemies. My opinion is akin to a doctor who passed the BOARD EXAM. A DOCTOR is expected to keep training/ studying/ learning new techniques/procedures in order to provide OPTIMUM care for his patients. The same analogy is true for military combat pilots. 

      • Mike S

        But we have to start from where we are now.
        Ok, we have to recruit recently retired red hot qualified military pilots from abroad.
        Anyway we have plenty of Pinoys working abroad, so why should this not be a two way street?
        Not to further mince my words I can see that Philippines needs to recruit red hot qualified military pilots now.

      • Facilitator1

        Mike S: your suggestion to recruit or hire “red hot qualified military pilots”, either with PINOY lineage or not, will be EXTREMELY difficult. You’ll be hard pressed in locating and /or recruiting them. These are the possible reasons why it’s a COLOSSAL challenge:
        1) The BAD GUY–Commercial Airlines. Commercial airlines provides a very lucrative employment package for retired/banked military trained pilots. Traditionally, most, if not all, pilots will work for the airlines after retirement.
        2) TOO OLD or with MEDICAL problems–the very reasons why they retire or out of FLYING STATUS in the first place. Fighter pilots must be in optimal health to handle the physical demands of modern aerial warfare. The remaining experienced, capable but senior or OLD warriors are promoted to COLONELs and GENERALS to provide mentorship and /or leadership to young pilots.
        3) Locate/recruit MERCENARIES trained as combat pilots for the AFP. However, they might not engage the ENEMY in an aerial combat when needed/demanded because their LOYALTY belongs to the highest bidder.PEACE…

      • Mike S

        Only fast track training of “our pilots”
         Fil-Ams are still Philippinos.
          They should not be restricted to training, but should be allowed also to fight in combat missions.

      • Loggnat

        It’s been done before by the Israeli-Americans fighter pilots and maintenance crews in the early 70’s, the 7-day war I think. They volunteered ferrying replacement F4 Phantom and parts from overseas US air bases to Israel in conjunction with what we tongue in cheek called  religious ‘retreat’. A red head captain did not come back and we raised our glass for a toast to him with the NCO F4 crews that came back. And if anybody asked me again about it, it never happened. ;)

      • Lucky Luciano

        LMAO. You took the “LPG Conversion” seriously? OK. OK. “If” PH is “fortunate and rich” enough to acquire/purchase these aircraft/s then you don’t have to worry about the Upkeep and training issues because I’m sure that PH will be “fortunate and rich” enough as well to address them. BTW how “fortunate and rich enough” is “fortunate and rich enough”? If your wishful thinking (Analysis) can’t go beyond USD200B then that’s “not fortunate and rich enough”. HAHAHA.

        BTW: Flight simulators/emulators helped minimize the cost of the upkeep and accidents. But if you want to take it seriously, why not invest on ICBMS or other long range weapons instead of F15s and F16s? Just show your friendly neighbors that you have the capability to launch something into the atmosphere and you’re willing to use it, things will start to change. It’s cheaper than F16s, the desired effect is almost already felt and you don’t have to train the entire A/F to run the project.
        That’s how you earn respect.

        Charcoal hoarding, Scottie can’t beam me up and Enterprise runs on charcoal, exiting the traditional way “Live long and prosper”.

        I’m not serious about the Enterprise running on charcoal.

  • surigao_miners

    tirador lang pantapat ng pinas..hehehe

  • Facilitator1

    Mga kabayan, it’s a known fact that our beloved country has very limited military capability and resources to defend its sovereignty, honor, and territory. PLEASE refrain from providing PHL enemies (either foreign or domestic) with added impetus/resolve to SATISFY/FULFILL their nefarious desires into REALITY. 

    Some say that criticisms are needed to correct/improve substandard actions/behavior but castigating our government (either openly or subtly) for the aforementioned deficiency has a very detrimental/negative effect to our nation. Currently, our one and only defense against any foreign transgression is to UNITE as ONE nation–in actions and words. Mabuhay!!! 

    BTW: I didn’t VOTE for PNOY and definitely, I’m not employed as one of his RAH RAH BOYS. Also, I’m neither a gov’t employee nor had a business transaction with PNOY’s administration for personal/professional gains. However, I’m a PINOY (sa PUSO at DIWA) contributing, in my own unique/little way, for the betterment/progress/honor of our country…PEACE…

    • pnoy0612

       we need more of such constructive comments…

  • el capitan

    wala nga tayo magawa kahit na dumaan pa sa taas ng malacañang ang isang Cessna hehehe 

  • amelius23

    We enjoin our allies to provide the Phil. with enough modern weaponry to be able to momentarily 
    stop the unprovoked illegal intrusion of our sovereign territories. Years before, the New Zealand govt. reported that inasmuch that they are not expecting any external threat from other countries, hence, they have demobilized/decommissioned their armed forces and mothballed their military weapons? Is it possible for our DFA to check the veracity of this report? There might be readily available fighter jets that can be made operational  from NZ military stockpile? While it is quiet in the Middle East front, how about our DFA exploring the possibility of obtaining ready to fly modern jet fighters including  fast track pilot training and providing maintenance modules from the Israeli Air Force? Our govt. can easily obtain a squadron or 2 of 24 to 50 fighter jets from the Israeli AF stockpiles, a shade of  previous Contra cross deal with Iran? Weird as it seems but we need modern military weapons in the hand of our Filipino soldiers NOW.

  • jpastor

    Tulo laway na lang ang PH…

  • Romeo

    Reading all comments here, makes me hopeful. It seems people here love and respect Pnoy.

    Honesty seem a common denominator. Suportahan.

    Dyan na mga tsinks. Beware, mauubos tayo pag watak watak.

  • jpmd88

    Malapit na iphase out ng US military ang F-16 fleet nila di pa din kaya ng Pinas makaiskor ng mga ito.  Sana once and for all, budgetan na para at least presentable ang air force natin di mukhang “stuck in a weird time warp” and gamit.

    • rodulio

      the Philippines would have to revoke the constitution of @disqus_T9llqHRSj1:disqus % cap on defense spending. You all have to call your senator and vote for that.

  • Mike S

    Having already achieved their mission using heavy aircraft, it would be a bit of a come down to attempt or even to succeed in a mission using only a light aircraft

  • yatot

    saan kayang basurahan itatapon ng US yang F-16? 

    • Facilitator1

      Kabayan sa BONEYARD (affectionately called) ng Arizona, USA. Parang “shopping mall” ng mga eroplano. Google mo sa net to check ang inventory ng mga eroplano.

    • rodulio

      nobody wants the F-16 because these are highly maintenance hardware…

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos