I have been very hard on some pilots who violate restricted airspace, but there’s another side to the story. While the idiot who almost got shot down over DC in May 2005 should have been punished decisively for negligence and dereliction of duty, there are airspace violations every day—and often when the pilot has done nothing wrong!

Austin Meyer, developer of the X-Plane flight simulator (which I use) and an avid pilot, found himself being escorted away from restricted airspace in the greater DC area by an F-18 fighter on Friday. This is the story of how it happened, and some of Austin’s well-reasoned recommendations to other pilots, policy makers, map makers, and others to minimize these intrusions in the future.

If you have even a passing interest in flying, give it a read!