Small Plane Intercepted Near Air Force Base

A small plane that repeatedly ventured close to restricted air space at Edwards Air Force Base (search) was intercepted by two F-15 fighter jets (search) Thursday and escorted to a local airport. The FBI was interviewing the pilot and a passenger, officials said.

The twin-engine Aero Commander plane was spotted flying in the high desert north of Los Angeles for several hours during the afternoon at about 18,000 feet and could not be identified or contacted by the Federal Aviation Administration, agency spokesman Donn Walker said.

The plane approached restricted air space several times and the FAA (search) notified Western Air Defense (search), which scrambled military jets, officials said.

The aircraft was escorted to Palmdale Airport, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said. It wasn't immediately clear why the pilot didn't respond or what the plane was doing near the air base.

The pilot and passenger were being interviewed at an FBI satellite office in Lancaster, Eimiller said.

A person who answered the phone at Palmdale Airport declined to comment.