Can a plane crash into the White House?

Yes… And no.

On September 12, 1994, Frank Corder crashed a stolen Cessna 150 into the White House lawn. IIRC, a window on the White House was broken.

Since 9/11, there have been flight restrictions in place around DC. There’s an outer 30 mile radius ring where you must be positively identified and have permission to fly, this is known as the SFRA (Special Flight Rules Area). There’s an inner 15-mile radius ring called the FRZ (Flight Restricted Zone) that requires fingerprinting, FBI background check, and lots of other hoops to jump through. There are still three small airports in this inner zone, though they have much less traffic than they used to.

But there’s also Reagan National. From the departure end of runway 1 at Reagan National Airport to the White House is about two nautical miles, which can be covered by an airliner in well under a minute. No chance to scramble fighters to take them out.

Ironically, the restrictions around Washington only apply to small airplanes, not the big ones that actually represent a threat. It’s easy to restrict small planes because it affects relatively few people when you do so. If they were to restrict airline flights out of Reagan National, it would inconvenience many more people, and 538 of those people would surely do something about it.

Now… Rumor has it that there are secret service agents with MANPADS stationed atop the White House 24×7. They did not shoot down Frank Corder because he didn’t really represent a threat. It’d be tough for them to shoot down an airliner from Reagan, though, because identifying that the aircraft is truly a threat could not happen until pretty late in the process, and then there’s the risk assessment of protecting one person vs. raining down burning airplane parts and bodies on a pretty large highly-populated area. I hope we never have to find out what happens in that scenario.

It isn’t likely. Pilots need to get certified to even fly within 30 miles of the Washington DC SFRA (special flight rules area). Which means you need a certain endorsement to even fly in the region 30–60 miles outside of DC. And to fly in the FRZ (flight restriction zone) to land in Dulles and other airports in the middle of The SFRA, pilots are photographed, fingerprinted and given a thorough background check before being signed off to land there.

But that isn’t to say that the White House is 100% safe from a plane collision. after all, wasn’t someone able to land a power glider on the front lawn of the White House back in 2015 or 2016?

We have heard ATC give 8 or 9 warnings to someone who was in the SFRA airspace without authorization, but I’m sure he was diverted to an airport where the nice people from the FAA were there to take his license. If his flight path were aimed directly at the White House, he may have been forced out of the sky by black hawk helicoptors.

No. After 9/11 the White House had torrent style high powered artillery you see on warships installed on the roof of one of the buildings just north of the complex. These high powered weapons built specifically to bring down airplanes are manned by military personnel trained to fire such a weapon, not secret service agents. The movie Olympus has fallen portrays how this weapon would work rather well except for the fact that in real life no plane would be able to reflect all of the rounds being fired at it. I would go into greater detail about how the military and secret service work together to make sure there is no rogue member of either that starts blasting away at planes landing or taking off from Reagan, but unfortunately the nature of my work prevents me from doing so.

Yes and there were a few misses. One guy was mad at the government for some reason and decided to steal a Cessna from the airport and tried crashing it into the White House when Clinton was in office. The plane clipped the White House fence and came to a stop on the White House lawn. I don’t think the Clintons were home at the time when it happened,

Then when Raegan was in office, a guy stole an army helicopter and landed it on the White House lawn back in the day. The Secret Service sniper team seen him coming and began firing at the helicopter to no avail and by the grace of God the guy lived.

I’m sure now a days they have security measures installed especially after these two known incidents plus with 9/11 to prevent someone from trying to crash a plane into the White House. Not that I’m suggesting you do it, but you theoretically can, but the Secret Service got really hip to folks that have succeeded in trying to and you probably won’t even make it that close to the White House-but you’ll probably die trying. There is also a no fly zone above the White House and the chance of a plane having an air emergency over it and accidentally crashing into it is least likely to happen too since they cannot go into that restricted area without the fighter jets being scrambled towards them.

Technically, yes. The White House is not far from Ronald Reagon national airport and thus planes are flying just a few seconds flight away.

If a plane was hijacked, the US will have plans in place to deter this. Even if I knew the plans, I wouldn’t be allowed to disclose them.

Nope. They have some kind of a system where it tracks any aircraft flying around the White House which is restricted airspace. If there’s no response they shoot it down with it’s Surface to Air missiles