Airspace violation reported in Washington, DC, and fighter jets have been scrambled. | World Defense

Airspace violation reported in Washington, DC, and fighter jets have been scrambled.

Lieutenant

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Airspace violation over Washington DC. Fighter jets have been scrambled; White House on lockdown after aircraft entered restricted airspace.

USCapitol_Barnard.jpg

The incident was reported around 8:30 a.m. and caused road closures in the downtown area. Evacuations at the U.S. Capitol were ordered as a precaution and lasted about half an hour. No injuries were reported.

According to Fox News, U.S. Capitol Police scrambled a helicopter, and the military scrambled fighter jets from Joint Base Andrews during the incident.
Law enforcement sources initially told Fox News the lockdown was triggered after an aircraft moving east violated restricted airspace. But Fox News later learned that officials may have to go back and review the radar to determine what exactly prompted the scare, with sources saying they got "mixed signals at best" as to what the potential aircraft could have been.

One source said they were never sure whether an actual aircraft was ever involved, while another told Fox News that radar was showing "different sectors" as to where the threat was coming from. One source said whatever they saw may have just been an “anomaly” or even “geese.”
 

Scorpion

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Since nothing was showing on radar how did they know there was a violation?
 

Falcon29

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'Slow-moving blob' that may have been a flock of birds caused White House lockdown

Washington (CNN)A "slow-moving blob" that may have been a flock of birds triggered a lockdown of the White House and caused the US Capitol to be placed on "restrictive access" Tuesday morning.

Senior national security officials across the agencies convened to coordinate and monitor the situation after the mysterious "blob" was seen on radar at the Capitol Police command center flying just south of the National Mall, according to a law enforcement source.

Military aircraft were scrambled in response.

Initial assessments indicated that the "blob" was an unauthorized aircraft entering restrictive airspace, leading to the brief lockdown.
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:D:D
 

Lieutenant

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'Slow-moving blob' that may have been a flock of birds caused White House lockdown

Washington (CNN)A "slow-moving blob" that may have been a flock of birds triggered a lockdown of the White House and caused the US Capitol to be placed on "restrictive access" Tuesday morning.

Senior national security officials across the agencies convened to coordinate and monitor the situation after the mysterious "blob" was seen on radar at the Capitol Police command center flying just south of the National Mall, according to a law enforcement source.

Military aircraft were scrambled in response.

Initial assessments indicated that the "blob" was an unauthorized aircraft entering restrictive airspace, leading to the brief lockdown.
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:D:D
D:-D

Too much drama.
 

mtime7

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Our sources tell us that although it is not uncommon for birds to be the cause of false alerts multiple times a month around this time a year, the issue that occurred on the 26th was a radar anomaly that was compounded by human error. One of the radars that feeds data into the integrated air defense system created what is called a "mirror track" of an innocuous and in-contact airplane whose transponder was squawking that it was under visual flight rules (VFR). Because it was a mirror track of just the transponder, there is no primary radar return where the mirror track was, the system pointed it out immediately and started automatically pointing electro-optical camera systems at it to validate the return and to identify what it actually was.

Apparently, the D.C. area's integrated air surveillance system is good enough that transponder tracks alone, where the radar doesn't also have a corresponding hard radar return, nearly never occur. But in this case, it was an anomaly happening within the radar system, not the result of lack of radar coverage or fidelity.

When the cameras pointed at the mirror track's location, they saw a real plane that was located roughly along the same azimuth as the mirror track. The issue is that since cameras cannot quantify range, it validated that something wasthere, but in reality, that plane was not at the range the radar showed the mirror track to be, it was much farther away. In other words, if a plane was actually where the mirror track should have been, the cameras would have seen two airplanes, not just one. As a result of this confusion, more cameras started being pointed at the target automatically.

At this time, the mirror track faded away, so the cameras had no automated radar data left to point to. Human operators took over and they started manually scanning the area for something that wasn't there anymore. There have been reports of ‘blobs’ being seen by the air defense system operators during this instance. Our sources made it clear that this is anything but uncommon as looking into the sky with long focal length cameras results in blobs, especially when scattered clouds are present. There is simply nothing substantial or defining to look at.
 

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