Capitol Police ordered the US Capitol and surrounding federal buildings to be evacuated on the evening of April 20, 2022 over concerns that a plane was seen flying over the Nationals Park baseball stadium, 2.2 kilometers away from the Capitol building.
But the plane was actually carrying members of the US Army Golden Knights who parachuted into the baseball stadium for a pre-game demonstration.
The US Capitol Police tweeted that the evacuation order was made out of an “abundance of caution”, and concluded that there was no threat at The Capitol.
Flight tracking site FlightRadar24 was able to capture the Golden Knights flight circling the Nationals Park several times, waiting for the right moment for the parachute team to jump.
Per @flightradar24, this U.S. Army parachute team aircraft was circling the area for a while. It’s apparently for tonight’s Nationals game.— Andrew Desiderio (@AndrewDesiderio) April 20, 2022
It appears that someone forgot to tell USCP, triggering tonight’s evacuation order……… pic.twitter.com/2i8uvlXf4t
According to Associated Press, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blamed the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in a statement released on April 20, 2022, saying its “apparent failure to notify Capitol Police of the pre-planned flyover Nationals Stadium is outrageous and inexcusable”.
The FAA did not respond to a request for comment from the Associated Press.