WASHINGTON – The U.S. Secret Service told NBC News on Wednesday that it is satisfied that a light plane’s incursion into restricted airspace in the Washington area Wednesday morning was accidental. The two men aboard the Cessna have been released after hours of questioning. A search of the plane found “nothing threatening” on board, an official told NBC’s Pete Williams.
Secret Service and Justice Department officials said no criminal charges are contemplated because there was no evidence of any criminal intent.
They point out, however, that both men still face administrative punishment from aviation authorities, which could include revocation of their pilot’s licenses.
The U.S. Capitol and White House were briefly evacuated after the plane entered restricted airspace and came within three miles of the executive mansion. Military jets scrambled to intercept the aircraft and fired warning flares.