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Fighter jets intercept helo entering airspace

3 years 9 months 3 weeks ago August 01, 2013 Aug 1, 2013 Thursday, August 01 2013 August 01, 2013 3:45 PM in News
Source: Associated Press

LEEVILLE - Belle Chasse-based fighter jets scrambled to intercept a helicopter that entered U.S. airspace and approached New Orleans from the Gulf of Mexico without communicating with local authorities.

According to the North American Aerospace Defense Command, known as NORAD, the AgustaWestland AW-139 copter was forced to land at about 9:44 a.m. Thursday at a heliport in Leeville, just west of Grand Isle.

Maj. Beth Smith of NORAD says pilots reportedly thought the helicopter's communications equipment was emitting a signal that can be picked up on radar. When, in fact, Smith said, the equipment had malfunctioned.

The Times-Picayune says NORAD released no information on the helicopter's owner and Smith said the matter was closed.

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