Residents in the region around Washington D.C. got startled by a sonic boom, which officials state was caused by fighter jets intercepting a private plane.
On Sunday afternoon (June 4th), a loud noise that resonated across most of the area around Washington D.C. caught the attention of many residents. Officials with North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, confirmed to the press later on that night that the noise was a sonic boom, attributing it to two F-16 fighter jets that were scrambled from Joint Base Andrews in an authorized response to a Cessna Citation plane that entered restricted airspace over Virginia.
NORAD went on to state that when hailed by the F-16s, the Cessna was unresponsive, even as the jets used flares to get the pilot’s attention. The plane would later crash close to the George Washington National Forest near Montebello, Virginia close to 3:30 P.M., and they said it was not shot down.
The Federal Aviation Association issued its own statement, and stated that air traffic control attempts to reach the plane had been unsuccessful. According to tracking data, the Cessna Citation apparently left Elizabethton, Tennessee at 1:13 P.M., then reached Long Island before turning back around towards Virginia.
The sonic boom caused many to react across the region from Bowie, Maryland to Annandale Virginia, and speculate on the cause. President Joe Biden was out golfing with his brother, Jimmy close to Joint Base Andrews and reportedly heard “a faint boom”. The president was fully briefed on the situation, a spokesperson for the White House said. Police at the U.S. Capitol were briefly placed on alert, according to authorities.
The FAA said that investigators for the National Transportation and Safety Board were making their way to the crash scene, hoping to arrive there on Monday (June 5th). The private business jet was confirmed to be owned by Encore Motors of Melbourne, a Florida-based company.
John Rumpel, a 75-year-old pilot who runs Encore Motors, confirmed to the New York Times that his daughter, granddaughter, and a nanny were on the plane with the pilot returning home to East Hampton, N.Y. after visiting him in North Carolina.
In tears, Rumpel theorized that the plane might’ve lost pressurization, saying that “they all just would have gone to sleep and never woke up.” Virginia State Police would later confirm that first responders reached the site at 8 P.M. that evening, and found no survivors.
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Sonic Boom In D.C. Area Due To Military Interception of Cessna was originally published on hiphopwired.com