“We were watching this very closely,” said Winnefeld, head of US Northern Command and NORAD, the joint US-Canadian air defense command.
“It’s headed right for the heart of the national capital region,” he told defense reporters. “Do you let it run out of gas and hopefully crash in a farmer’s field or do you actually take action to shoot it down?”
“You certainly don’t want to shoot it down over a populated area if you can avoid it.”
The North American Aerospace Defense Command was on the verge of scrambling F-16 fighter jets to intercept the helicopter when operators regained control of the chopper after 20 minutes.