The Enterprise Report has exclusively obtained the identity of the pilot who caused a near-security meltdown over the Los Angeles area last week when a single engine Cessna 182 he was flying, allegedly laden with drugs, flew into a "no-fly zone" surrounding U.S. President Barack Obama, as the President flew on his 'Marine One' helicopter from John Wayne Airport in Orange County, CA to Los Angeles International Airport
The pilot, Brian J. Choppin, 43 of Buellton, California, was flying the small plane when he was intercepted by two F-16's sent from March Air Force Base in Riverside, CA. Choppin and the plane were escorted by the military jets until he landed at Long Beach Airport. Long Beach airport is on the south-north route between Orange County and Los Angeles. Choppin is a graduate of Woodrow Wilson High in Long Beach according to his Facebook page, but now lives and works in the Buellton California area. Choppin did not return a request for comment sent to him by The Enterprise Report.
Long Beach Police spokesman Nancy Pratt says charges are expected to be filed "in the next few days" against Choppin by Long Beach narcotics detectives. Choppin was released on bail last Friday, only a day after the incident took place. Pratt says any criminal case will be handled by Los Angeles District Attorney's office.
Read the arrest and jail release info below:
Choppin has a long and extensive past as a skydiver and base-jumper according to an investigation by The Enterprise Report. According to the owner of the airplane, David "Clem" Major of Grover Beach, CA, Choppin "rented the plane" and the two "knew each other through that world" of skydiving. The Enterprise Report spoke with Major exclusively yesterday. Major said he was "unaware" of any drugs being flown and had "previously rented the plane to Choppin" on other occasions. He wouldn't elaborate on how many times he had done so in the past. Major says he was contacted by the D.E.A. shortly after the incident by phone, but hasn't heard from them since.
Major is an experienced aerial stuntman and has worked extensively in Hollywood for years. His resume even includes work on the Movie "Air Force One", starring Harrison Ford. The film tells the fictional account of a takeover of the U.S. president's 747 airplane by terrorists.
The U.S. Secret Service which protects the President interviewed Choppin upon arrival at Long Beach Airport on the day of the incident. They quickly determined Choppin had no ill intent towards the President on his flight south to Long Beach from central California when he breached the security zone around the President's aircraft.
The incident which was widely inaccurately reported by some media outlets who claimed the airplane had violated the secure 'no fly zone' around 'Air Force One' as the Presidential Boeing 747 was flying to San Francisco from Los Angeles. In fact, the incident occurred while the President was aboard a Marine helicopter dubbed 'Marine One' while in transit from John Wayne Airport in Orange County, CA. President Obama had made a stop to attend a political fundraiser in Newport Beach, CA earlier that morning.