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2 planes fly too near over rallies for Bush

Sun., Oct. 24, 2004

MELBOURNE, Fla. – Two small private aircraft violated restricted air space Saturday over two of President Bush’s campaign rallies in central Florida, authorities said.

In both incidents, fighter jets escorted the planes to nearby airfields.

“The president was never in any danger at either event,” White House spokesman Trent Duffy said.

A small aircraft flew too close to Bush’s rally at Ty Cobb Field in Lakeland and was led to Gilbert Field in Winter Haven, Secret Service spokesman Tom Mazur said. Later, in Melbourne, an F-15 escorted a plane to Merritt Island Airport near Cocoa Beach, said Greg Martin, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration in Washington.

In Lakeland, pilot Richard Hart, a Winter Haven business owner, was escorted to the ground after he mistakenly violated the restricted airspace, said Col. Grady Judd, Polk County sheriff’s spokesman.


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