Officials announced that American forces dispatched fighter planes to confront a non-responsive small aircraft that breached the airspace above the Washington DC region. This plane later crashed into the hilly landscape in southwest Virginia.
CNN reported that four people were on board the Cessna Citation plane. Meanwhile, the police stated that rescuers had found no survivors onboard the plane.
Sonic booms echoed across Washington DC on Sunday when US fighter jets sped to intercept a small aircraft, resulting in a momentary fright among some locals. An American official clarified that the crash wasn’t a consequence of the jets’ actions.
The aircraft that crashed was registered to a Florida-based company. John Rumpel, the company’s operator, informed the New York Times that those onboard included his daughter, her two-year-old child, their nanny, and the pilot. They were returning to East Hampton, Long Island, from his residence in North Carolina.
Efforts were made by the US military to communicate with the non-responsive pilot until the Cessna eventually crashed near the George Washington National Forest in Virginia, as reported in a statement by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (Norad).
“The Norad aircraft were authorized to travel at supersonic speeds and a sonic boom may have been heard by residents of the region,” the statement read.
“Flares are employed with the highest regard for the safety of the intercepted aircraft and people on the ground. Flares burn out quickly and completely and there is no danger to the people on the ground when dispensed.”
In the same vein, the Federal Aviation Administration indicated that the Cessna took off from Elizabethtown, Tennessee, on Sunday and was headed for Long Island’s MacArthur Airport.