Belle Chasse-based fighter jets scrambled to intercept a helicopter that entered U.S. airspace and approached New Orleans from the Gulf of Mexico without communicating with local authorities.
According to the North American Aerospace Defense Command, known as NORAD, the AgustaWestland AW-139 copter was forced to land at about 9:44 a.m. Thursday at a heliport in Leeville, just west of Grand Isle.
Maj. Beth Smith of NORAD says pilots reportedly thought the helicopter's communications equipment was emitting a signal that can be picked up on radar. When, in fact, Smith said, the equipment had malfunctioned.
The Times-Picayune says NORAD released no information on the helicopter's owner and Smith said the matter was closed.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)