Plane Crashed After Triggering a Fighter Jet Response, With “No Survivors”

Officials confirmed that there were no survivors when a private plane carrying what was thought to be four peopleβ€”including a toddlerβ€”crashed shortly after forcing F-16 jets to pursue the “unresponsive” aircraft.

Fighter planes reportedly flew at “supersonic speeds” when a Cessna 560 went too close to Washington, D.C.’s restricted area, as North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) confirmed in an online statement. Around 3:20 p.m. local time, the F-16s “intercepted” the private flight.

The aerospace agency said, “The NORAD aircraft were authorized to travel at supersonic speeds,Β and a sonic boom may have been heard by residents of the region,” and said that it was working in tandem with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

NORAD reported that the F-16s had employed flares to attract the Cessna pilot’s attention and that these flares “may have been visible to the public.”

“The pilot was unresponsive, and the Cessna subsequently crashed near the George Washington National Forest, Virginia,” the organization said. “NORAD attempted to establish contact with the pilot until the aircraft crashed.”

You can see a tweet for the confirmation of the news-

When this piece was written, it was unknown what caused the crash, how many people were on board, or why the pilot was unresponsive. Virginia State Police (VSP) spokeswoman Corinne Geller said via email that first responders arrived on foot just before 8 p.m. on Sunday.

They have called off the search, she said, because “no survivors were located.” Geller said that once passenger lists are made public, the VSP would use them to determine who was on board. According to the plane’s registration, the Florida corporation Encore Motors of Melbourne Inc. owned the Cessna.

The company’s owner, John Rumpel, said that he had just seen his daughter and granddaughter, both aged two, off at the airport as they departed from North Carolina to return to their home in East Hampton, Long Island. He informed reporters he thought the babysitter was coming along for the ride.

Rumpel said he knew “nothing about the crash” and was in contact with the FAA but could provide no further information. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) spokesperson Jennifer Gabris confirmed that the NTSB is investigating the incident.

She reported that the Cessna went down in a “rural mountain area” near Montebello, Virginia, at around 3:30 p.m. ET after the pilot was “unresponsive” to ATC’s communications attempts. According to Gabris, the plane took off from Elizabethton Municipal Airport in Tennessee and flew directly over Long Island MacArthur Airport on its way to New York.

People in the District of Columbia and several neighboring Virginia and Maryland areasΒ heard or saw the crash and took to social media to share their experiences. A video posted to Twitter at 9:30 p.m. ET by user Chopper4Brad purports to show overhead shots of smoke and debris.

Chopper4Brad tweeted four photographs and wrote, “Cessna Citation business jet crashed into a Virginia mountainside, fighter jets scrambled from Joint Base Andrews could only watch as the incapacitated pilot descended from 30K feet.”

The sonic boom caused by the fighter aircraft’s response to the Cessna was widely discussed on Twitter. There was no danger, despite the loud noise the fighter jets made, according to a tweet sent by D.C.’s Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management on Sunday, June 4 afternoon.

According to Gabris, the average length of an NTSB investigation is between 12 and 24 months. It is believed that the preliminary report, which would cover “factual information learned to date,” will be released in about three weeks, she said. Gabris said the NTSB would “not state a cause” now.

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“Part of the investigation will be to request radar data, weather information, and maintenance records,” Gabris said. The human, the machine, and the environment will serve as the framework for the NTSB’s investigation.


Sophia Willmer is a skilled content editor who brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her role at With a keen eye for detail and a passion for crafting compelling content, Sophia ensures that every piece of content on the site is polished, accurate, and engaging. Sophia's love for writing and editing began at a young age, and she pursued a degree in journalism and communications to further her knowledge and skills. She has worked in a variety of roles in the media industry, from writing and editing for magazines to producing digital content for websites.

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