Trump elated as F-16 fires flares, escorts unauthorized plane away from POTUS rally: 'Love that sound'
An unauthorized aircraft entered the restricted air space during President Donald Trump's rally in Arizona on Wednesday, October 28, leading to an F-16 fighter jet being scrambled to intercept it. As the jet fired warning flares and escorted the aircraft out of the region, President Trump appeared to be fascinated by it and shouted: "Wow, look at that!"
The aircraft, believed to be a small plane, had reportedly ignored the F-16 jet initially after it tried to make contact, which prompted the jet to release flares. The intruding plane, however, established radio communication shortly after and was escorted out of the area. A visibly excited Trump thanked the fighter jet for giving him "a little display," and said: "They gave the president a little display! How about that? How about that?"
"I wonder if the fake news caught that? Did you see that, camera? They never turn the camera. They never want to show anything that’s good," he added. The North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) confirmed that an F-16 fighter jet had been dispatched to respond to the incident on Wednesday afternoon.
“At approx. 1400 MDT, NORAD F-16 aircraft investigated a general aviation aircraft that was not in communication with ATC and entered the Temporary Flight Restriction area surrounding Bullhead City, AZ without proper clearance. The violating aircraft was non-responsive to initial intercept procedures, but established radio communications after NORAD aircraft deployed signal flares," they tweeted. “The aircraft was escorted out of the restricted area by the NORAD aircraft without further incident.”
(1/2) At approx. 1400 MDT, NORAD F-16 aircraft investigated a general aviation aircraft that was not in communication with ATC and entered the Temporary Flight Restriction area surrounding Bullhead City, AZ without proper clearance. #WeHaveTheWatch— North American Aerospace Defense Command (@NORADCommand) October 28, 2020
A NORAD spokesperson John Cornelio, in a statement to CNN, said that an F-16 aircraft was sent to probe a small airplane that had entered the air space above the president's rally on October 28. Trump, during the rally, was apparently caught off-guard by the jet flying above and remarked on it saying it was nearly "four days old" as he touted his funding for the military. The president, at the sound of the aircraft, said: "I love that sound, I love it. You don't know what I went through to get those suckers up there — I had to get that money from the Democrats."
The president, at the same rally, reportedly also chuckled when one of his supporters shouted that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should be sent to Mars. The incident took place while Trump was addressing his supporters at the rally and was promoting the restoration of space program under his administration.
Trump said: "America will land the first woman on the moon and the United States will be the first nation to land an astronaut on Mars. Maybe we should make that a woman too." This in when one of his supporters from the rally crowd shouted that Pelosi should be the one to be sent there. The president pointed this out to the rest of the crowd, saying: "He said, ‘Make it Nancy Pelosi.' Who said that? That’s pretty good, I have to say. Stand up please. Look at this guy. That’s pretty good. Are you a comedian professionally?" The president then addressed the media to clarify that he himself did not say it, “I didn’t say it. I’m just repeating it. You know?"