PHOENIX - A small aircraft violated restricted airspace over Phoenix 20 minutes before Sunday's Super Bowl game, the U.S. National Guard confirmed.
Spokesman Mike Strickler for North American Aerospace Defense Command said an Arizona Air National Guard F-16 pilot had to use several maneuvers to get the attention of a pilot in a Cessna 172 Sunday afternoon, the Arizona Republic reported Wednesday.
The unidentified pilot was reported flying without his radio turned on, so the F-16 pilot flew directly into his flight path, Strickland said. The Cessna continued, so the F-16 then fired flares, and the other pilot turned his radio on, the report said.
The unidentified pilot was ordered to land at Buckeye Municipal Airport where he was met by Customs and Border Control officials and later released, the newspaper said.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said the flyer would be contacted by the agency about the violation, as the restriction was widely publicized two months before the game. Penalties range from a warning letter to a loss of license, he said.
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