WASHINGTON -- The Senate recessed briefly last night after an unidentified plane entered restricted airspace, two weeks after an errant aircraft forced emergency evacuations of the White House and Capitol.
There were no evacuations yesterday. The private Cessna was intercepted by military jets and landed in Gaithersburg, Md., north of the capital, the Transportation Security Administration said.
At the Capitol, the Senate majority leader, Bill Frist, Republican of Tennessee, called for a recess just after 6 and left the chamber. Others present did not leave.
Seven minutes later, Capitol Police sent out an e-mail reading: ''An unidentified aircraft violated the restricted airspace and was escorted out of the area."
Soon after debate resumed.
The Cessna was intercepted by military jets, according to Mark Hatfield, Transportation Security Administration spokesman.
Meanwhile yesterday, the government revoked the pilot's license of Hayden L. ''Jim" Sheaffer because of the May 11 errant flight that led to the scrambling of military aircraft and the panicked evacuation of thousands. Sheaffer was deemed an ''unacceptable risk to safety," the Federal Aviation Administration said.
Sheaffer's passenger, 36-year-old Troy Martin, who had logged only 30 hours of flight time, was flying the plane, the FAA said.
Revoking Sheaffer's license ''reflects the seriousness in which we view all restricted airspace violations" said Greg Martin, FAA spokesman.
According to the FAA, Sheaffer, 69, had not met the requirements to have a passenger: three takeoffs and three landings within 90 days of the flight.
Though hundreds of people have mistakenly flown into Washington's restricted airspace, the FAA rarely revokes a pilot's license for such an offense. The agency said no action would be taken against Martin.
Sheaffer can reapply for his license in a year.
Telephone calls seeking comment from both Sheaffer and Martin were not immediately returned.