FAA takes immediate action after small plane crash

FAA takes immediate action after small plane crash

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration FAA told Congress that it has taken immediate action to make sure the U.S. Capitol Police are aware of unusual aerial events after an April 20 small airplane flight that caused a security scare.

The FAA Acting Administrator Billy Nolen said in a letter to Congress that the agency will give advance notification of special event flights in the Washington-area.

The agency believes that this will give all of our interagency partners the extra time necessary to deal with any potential confusion, the letter dated Friday said. The steps we have taken will provide an additional margin of safety by reducing confusion on any unusual flight operation. A single-engine DHC 6 plane that flew the U.S. Army's Golden Knights parachute demonstration team over a Washington Nationals baseball game last month was mistaken for a potential security threat and prompted an evacuation of the U.S. Capitol.

The FAA, which apologized last month, did not want to make a statement Wednesday.

The FAA submitted a seven-sided event timeline which confirms that the Air Traffic Security Coordination team at the National Capital Region Coordination Center NCRCC did not provide advance notification, as was common before similar flights.

A Capitol Police watch officer at the NCRCC advised a U.S. Capitol police officer that the plane detected was an authorized flight.

A separate FAA document confirmed that the plane did not enter the prohibited airspace around the U.S. Capitol.

Nolen said he had met with Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger earlier this month. Capitol Police did not immediately make a statement.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was a U.S. House of Representatives, criticized the outrageous and frightening mistake. Her office referred questions Wednesday to her prior statement.

The U.S. Capitol PoliceCapitol Police initially said they were tracking an aircraft that posed a probable threat, but minutes later said there was no threat.

Pelosi said last month Congress wanted to know who at the FAA will be held accountable.