‘Threatening’ aircraft prompts brief evacuation at US Capitol — Analysis

The US House speaker blamed aviation officials for the scare, calling it an “outrageous and frightening mistake”

After police stated that an unknown aircraft might pose a danger to the US Capitol, it was quickly evacuated. A top lawmaker later clarified that the incident was the result of a lapse in communication between federal agencies.

An official statement by the US Capitol Police was issued alertTo lawmakers and congressional staffers on Wednesday night at 6:30 pm local time, a plane was seen over the region which presented a threat to their safety. “probable threat”and ordering the evacuation of all structures in the area.

Police arrived just 20 minutes later. declaredThere was “no threat at the Capitol”And that the alert was sent. “out of an abundance of caution.”Later, the department announcedThe building was cleared for reopening, however there were no additional details.

This plane actually carried members of the US Army Golden Knights. The parachute demonstration was to be held over Nationals Park in advance of a ball game. The reason why the police weren’t informed of this plan is not known.

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“We are reviewing all aspects of the event to ensure all procedures were followed appropriately to coordinate both the flight and the parachute demonstration,”Kelli LeGaspi was a spokesperson of the US Army Recruiting Command. “We will not comment further until we are able to determine the facts of the situation.”

According to the Associated Press, the twin-engine aircraft took off from Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. It had already circled closely guarded areas around Capitol Complex before alerting was issued. According to the outlet, the plane was also spotted in the airspace around Capitol complex. “remained clear of the prohibited airspace over the Capitol Building and other government complexes at all times,”But cited officials who stated “the pilot may have not properly reported taking off or had appropriate clearance.”

Nancy Pelosi (US House Speaker) later blamed the Federal Aviation Administration for not informing law enforcement of the demonstration and planned flyover. 

“The Federal Aviation Administration’s apparent failure to notify Capitol Police of the pre-planned flyover of Nationals Stadium is outrageous and inexcusable,”In a statement, she stated. “The unnecessary panic caused by this apparent negligence was particularly harmful for Members, staff and institutional workers still grappling with the trauma of the attack on their workplace on January 6.”

Pelosi stated that Congress would expect to see a “thorough after-action review” to determine “what precisely went wrong” “who at the Federal Aviation Administration will be held accountable for this outrageous and frightening mistake.”

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