A student pilot was intercepted by aircraft controlled by the North American Aerospace Defense Command after it violated restricted airspace near the Republican National Convention, prompting an investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration.
The incident began about 4 p.m. Wednesday when the pilot took off from the Zephyrhills Municipal Airport in a single-engine, propeller-driven Piper PA-28 and the pilot was directed to land a short while later at the Plant City Airport, according to the FAA and NORAD spokesman Cmdr. Bill Lewis.
Under temporary flight restrictions set up for the RNC in Tampa, no flight training or practice instrument approaches are allowed within 30 nautical miles of downtown.
Neither NORAD nor the FAA immediately had the name of the pilot.
Officials from the Zephyrhills airport would not comment about the flight.
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