Joe Biden in Irvine
President Joe Biden speaks at Irvine Valley College on Oct. 14. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

A small plane that drifted into airspace near President Joe Biden’s speech in Irvine last week was escorted away by a U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter jets.

The pilot entered the temporarily restricted flight space without clearance at about 3:10 p.m. Friday when Biden was speaking at Irvine Valley College, according to Air Force officials.

North American Aerospace Defense Command fighters got the pilot’s attention with flares, which is standard protocol.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said the agency investigates all airspace violations, but the probes generally take weeks or months.


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Ellen Bullock