Wednesday, January 6, 2010

NORAD Scrambles F-15s to escort Hawaii bound flight back to Portland

Two F-15 fighter jets intercepted an airliner bound for Hawaii on Wednesday and escorted it back to Portland, Oregon after a passenger caused a "disturbance," the North American Aerospace Defense Command said."

The Hawaiian Air plane was intercepted at about 1:00 pm local time (2100 GMT) after taking off from Portland, NORAD said in a statement.

"Shortly after take-off, a passenger caused a disturbance on the plane and the pilot decided to return the aircraft to Portland," it said.

The fighter aircraft led the plane back to Portland airport at about 1:15 pm and law enforcement officers were investigating the incident, according to the statement, which offered no other details.

NORAD, a joint US-Canada mission, scrambles fighter jets to respond to possible terrorist threats from the air, after the attacks of September 11, 2001 involving hijacked airliners.

Based in the central US state of Colorado, NORAD was created during the Cold War in 1958 to protect North America against air attacks.

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