Small Plane Enters Restricted Airspace Near Washington

A small Cessna 182 airplane flew into restricted airspace around Washington at roughly 6 p.m. ET today, an officer at NORAD tells FOX News.

Two F-16 military jets scrambled from Andrews Air Force Base and a U.S. Customs helicopter from Reagan National Airport intercepted the plane and escorted it to the Montgomery Airpark in Gaithersburg, Md.

Montgomery County Police have detained the pilot, and he will be held until Secret Service arrives to question him. There is no word yet on whether he will be arrested. The pilot violated a federal airspace law, so local officials likely will not hold him for long.

A spokesman for NORTHCOM, the Pentagon command charged with homeland security, says it appears the pilot was trying to avoid bad weather and that this isn't being interpreted as a deliberate provocation.