Rehoboth Beach, Delaware – President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden were taken to a safe location for about 30 minutes Saturday after a small plane entered safe airspace over the family’s home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
The White House said in a statement that “a small private plane has entered restricted airspace, all statements are in error and precautions have been taken.”
“There was no threat to the President or his family,” the White House added.
The Bidens left the safe location at 1:29 p.m. ET. The White House confirmed they returned to their residence around 2:05 p.m. ET.
“The plane was immediately escorted out of the restricted airspace. The preliminary investigation determined that the pilot was not on the correct radio channel, failed to follow submitted NOTAMS (Notice to Airmen) and failed to follow published flight instructions,” the secret said, the service.
The Secret Service said they would interview the pilot.
The aircraft was a single-engine Cessna 172 that entered the restricted airspace with no flight plan and no communication with air traffic control, according to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).
The Cessna was “intercepted,” NORAD said, by two F-15 fighter jets and an MH-65 helicopter off the coast of Cape May.
The plane landed at Cape May Airport at 1:11 p.m. local time.
Officials at a local fire station said Secret Service notified them around 12:48 p.m. that they were arriving with the Bidens.
Rehoboth Beach resident Susan Lillard told CBS News she saw a small white airplane fly near Cape Henlopen State Park, which is near the president’s beach house. Lillard then said she saw two planes take off a few minutes later.
CBS News also saw these two jets fly low over downtown the beach town.
Hundreds of onlookers gathered around the fire station about five blocks from a nearby beach as Secret Service officials stopped all pedestrians and traffic.
The motorcade arrived at 12:52 p.m. and the Bidens waited about 37 minutes in an SUV at the fire station, Rehoboth Beach Fire Chief Chuck Snyder told CBS News.
Snyder told CBS News his fire department previously practiced emergency drills with the Secret Service.