Give it up for our National Defense!

The U.S. Capitol was briefly evacuated Wednesday night after police said an aircraft in the area posed “a probable threat.”

The problem: The plane was carrying U.S. Army Golden Knights who then parachuted into the Washington Nationals’ baseball stadium for a pregame ceremony—something which was supposed to have been checked OK’d by the authorities.

The Arizona Diamondbacks were in town playing the Nats, whose stadium is about a mile from the Capitol. A U.S. Capitol Police alert at 6:30 p.m. sent congressional staffers scrambling.


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The twin-engine plane took off from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland and was circling heavily restricted airspace, which prompted the alert. Radar tracking, though, shows the plane never entered prohibited airspace over the Capitol or other government facilities.

A preliminary review suggests that the pilot failed to properly report taking off. However, the Federal Aviation Administration said that it’s conducting a “thorough and expeditious review.”

Capitol-area buildings were reopened a little after 8 p.m., but the D’backs won the game 11-2.

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