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FAA apologizes for not notifying Capitol Police of Nationals Park parachute stunt

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The Federal Aviation Administration said it failed to notify US Capitol police in advance of a planned parachute landing at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, prompting the agency in charge of securing the seat of Democracy to ordering an evacuation of the entire Capitol. Complex.

An email alert originally sent by the United States Capitol Police contained a subject line reading “Evacuate Now: Aircraft Intrusion” and then gave directions on where individuals should move.

Sources told Fox News that a private single-engine Cessna jet entered restricted airspace over the United States Capitol, dropping off military paratroopers at Nationals Park for the Nationals vs. Diamondbacks baseball game, where c It was military appreciation night.

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Instructions for Evacuating the Capitol Building, Washington DC
(FoxNews)

Capitol security officials told Fox News they did not receive notification of the theft, which they usually receive. This triggered the alert and prompted the evacuation of the US Capitol.

“It’s not supposed to happen,” a Capitol security official told Fox News. “It looks bad.”

An FAA spokesperson confirmed in a statement Friday that it did not inform the United States Capitol police of the event in advance, prompting the evacuation.

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Entrances are blocked at the Capitol, Washington, DC
(FoxNews)

“The FAA’s initial review of the circumstances surrounding Wednesday night’s parachute demonstration by the U.S. Army Golden Knights at Nationals Park showed that we did not provide prior notification of this event to Capitol Police. We deeply regret assisting in a precautionary evacuation of the Capitol complex and apologize for the disruption and fear felt by those working there,” the statement read.

The spokesperson said the federal agency was taking “immediate action” to prevent the incident from happening again.

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The U.S. Army Parachute Team, the Golden Knights, descends into the National Park prior to a baseball game between the Washington Nationals and Arizona Diamondbacks Wednesday, April 20, 2022 in Washington.

The U.S. Army Parachute Team, the Golden Knights, descends into the National Park prior to a baseball game between the Washington Nationals and Arizona Diamondbacks Wednesday, April 20, 2022 in Washington.
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

“We value our partnership with the United States Capitol Police and other law enforcement agencies, and are taking immediate steps to ensure that we always coordinate well in advance with other agencies. to avoid confusion about future aviation events in the Washington, DC area,” the spokesperson said.

Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report.

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