The wreckage of a wayward private plane that flew over the nation’s capital Sunday afternoon and caused the military to scramble two F-16 fighter jets before the aircraft crashed in Virginia has been found, officials confirmed Monday.
AP reports police said rescuers had reached the site of the plane crash in a rural part of the Shenandoah Valley. Four people from one family were inside the Cessna aircraft at the time of its demise. No survivors were found and the cause of the deadly crash is yet to be determined.
The Federal Aviation Administration says the Cessna Citation took off from Elizabethtown, Tennessee, on Sunday and was headed for Long Island’s MacArthur Airport.
As Breitbart News reported, the plane inexplicably turned around over New York’s Long Island and flew a straight path down over D.C. before it crashed over mountainous terrain near Montebello, Virginia, around 3:30 p.m.
Flight tracking sites showed the jet suffered a rapid spiraling descent, dropping at one point at a rate of more than 30,000 feet per minute before crashing in the St. Mary’s Wilderness.
It was not immediately clear why the plane was nonresponsive or why it crashed after descending so rapidly.
The plane flew directly over the nation’s capital, though it was technically flying above some of the most heavily restricted airspace in the nation.
The two fighter jets chasing the Cessna trailed a sonic boom in their wake.
SONIC BOOM! Sound Heard Over D.C. and Northern Virginia as Fighters Chase Unresponsive Jet
Public records showed the plane was registered to Florida-based company Encore Motors of Melbourne, whose owner John Rumpel told the Washington Post his “entire family” was onboard, including his daughter, a grandchild and her nanny.
“We know nothing about the crash,” he said. “We are talking to the FAA now… I’ve got to keep the line clear.”
Rumpel, a pilot whose family are prominent Donald Trump donors, told the newspaper he didn’t have much information from authorities but hoped his family didn’t suffer and suggested the plane could’ve lost pressurization.
The episode brought back memories of the 1999 crash of a Learjet that lost cabin pressure and flew aimlessly across the country with professional golfer Payne Stewart aboard. The jet crashed in a South Dakota pasture and six people died.