Timeline of White House Security Scare

WASHINGTON, May 11, 2005 -- -- The White House and U.S. Capitol building were briefly evacuated today after a small aircraft entered restricted airspace. Military jets were scrambled to intercept the plane, which landed at Frederick Municipal Airport in western Maryland. Two men were taken into custody. Following is a timeline of the incident released by White House press secretary Scott McClellan.


11:28 a.m. ET

Controllers notice plane moving toward Air Defense Identification Zone.

11:55 a.m.

Blackhawk Helicopters dispatched.

11:58 a.m.

U.S. Capitol Police raise alert to highest internal level; evacuation decision imminent.

Approximately 11:59 a.m.

Threat level at the White House is raised to yellow -- a Cessna plane was traveling 15 miles north of the White House.


F-16 fighter jets are scrambled from Andrews Air Force Base.

12:01 p.m.

Threat level at White House raised to orange -- plane was within 10 miles.

Evacuation and moving of people to secure locations begins.

Cessna was traveling in restricted airspace toward the White House and Capitol and the pilot was not responding to efforts to communicate with the plane.

12:02 p.m.

Senate recesses without notice or explanation. Senate floor evacuated amid fears of a bomb.

12:03 p.m.

Threat level raised to red -- plane was within three miles of the White House.

12:04 p.m.

U.S. Capitol Police order full evacuation of at least 25,000 people in the Capitol, six Senate and House office buildings and the Supreme Court.

12:11 p.m.

Threat level brought down to yellow -- plane turned west and was traveling away from the White House.

12:14 p.m.

All clear at the White House.

12:37 p.m.

Cessna 152 lands in Frederick, Md.

Approximately 12:40 p.m.

All clear at the U.S. Capitol and Supreme Court.


President Bush was not at the White House at the time. He returned about 1:30 p.m. Vice President Dick Cheney was in the West Wing when the evacuation began. He was moved to a secure location but later returned to the White House grounds, McClellan said.

Laura Bush and Nancy Reagan, who had been a guest at the White House, were in the executive mansion at the time of the evacuation. They were taken to a secure location, McClellan said.

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