Two F-16 fighter jets intercepted an civilian aircraft that flew into restricted airspace Friday morning over Lake Tahoe as President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden vacationed in the resort community along the California-Nevada border.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command deployed the Falcons along with a U.S. Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter. The civilian aircraft violated a Temporary Flight Restriction area around Lake Tahoe over California and Nevada skies shortly before 8 a.m., according to a NORAD news release.
The fighter jets dispensed flares to gain the attention of the civilian aircraft’s pilot, NORAD officials said. The flares might have been visible to the public on the ground.
“Flares were employed with the highest regard for safety of the intercepted aircraft and people on the ground,” NORAD officials said. “The flares burn out quickly and completely, and there is no danger to people on the ground when dispensed.”
The Biden family is staying at billionaire Tom Steyer’s house, which they are renting at fair market value, the White House has said. Steyer was among the Democrats who ran for president in 2020. The house is in the Glenbrook community on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe.
The trip to Lake Tahoe is a family vacation. No political appearances were on the public calendar.
The 10-nautical-mile flight restrictions, according to the FAA, continue through 4:45 p.m. Friday.