Jet fighters chase small plane in Washington area before it crashes in Virginia

WASHINGTON: U.S. F-16 fighter jets launched in a supersonic pursuit of a light aircraft with an unresponsive pilot that violated U.S. airspace. Washington DC area and then crashed into the mountains of Virginiaofficials said.
The jet plane fueled a sonic boom over the capital of the United States in an attempt to pursue the vagabond Cessna The quote, officials said, caused awe for people in the Washington area.
Four people were aboard the Cessna, a source familiar with the matter said. A Cessna Citation can carry from 7 to 12 passengers.
According to flight tracking website Flight Aware, the Cessna was registered with Encore Motors in Melbourne, Florida.
Encore owner John Rumpel told the Washington Post that his daughter, a grandchild and her nanny were on the plane.
“We don’t know anything about the accident,” Rumpel was quoted as saying by the Post. “We’re talking to the FAA,” he added before ending the call.
The US military attempted to establish contact with the pilot, who did not respond, until the Cessna subsequently crashed near George Washington National Forest in Virginia, North American Aerospace Defense Command (North American Aerospace Defense Command (North American Aerospace Defense Command) NORAD) said in a statement.
Another source close to the matter said the Cessna appeared to be flying on autopilot.
“NORAD aircraft are authorized to travel at supersonic speeds and people in the area can hear sonic booms,” the statement said, adding that the NORAD aircraft also used flares to attract the attention of the public. pilot.
A US official said jet fighters did not cause the crash.
The Cessna took off from Elizabethton Municipal Airport in Elizabethton, Tennessee, and was headed for Long Island MacArthur Airport in New York, about 80 kilometers east of Manhattan, the FAA said in a statement, adding that the Cessna and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.
According to Flight Aware, plane appears to have reached the New York area and made a nearly 180-degree turn, with the flight ending in Virginia.
Virginia State Police said they are searching for the wreckage of the plane but have yet to find it.
Although rare, incidents involving unresponsive pilots are not unheard of. Golfer Payne Stewart died in 1999 along with four other people after the plane he was in flew thousands of miles without the pilot and passengers responding. The plane eventually crashed in South Dakota with no survivors.
In the case of Stewart’s flight, the plane lost pressure causing the occupants to pass out from lack of oxygen.
Similarly, a small U.S. private jet with an unresponsive pilot crashed off the east coast of Jamaica in 2014 after turning too far southwest of Florida and triggering a safety alert. U.S. security forces a fighter jet to escort.
On Sunday, sonic booms shook many people in the Washington area, who took to Twitter to report they heard a loud noise that shook the ground and walls. Some residents reported hearing noise from northern Virginia and Maryland.


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