US F-16s go supersonic to intercept plane before it went down in Virginia

In an attempt to stop an unresponsive plane that entered heavily restricted airspaces of the country near Washington DC, the US scrambled F-16 fighter jets Sunday at a supersonic speed after the small plane crashed in Virginia.

There were no survivors found at the crash site in the rural area, according to the Virginia state police.

As per CNN, there were four people onboard the Cessna Citation plane.

The large boom was caused by the US fighter jets over Washington DC as they chased light aircraft, causing panic among the residents of the area.

The fighters, according to the officials, did not cause the small plane to crash, which can carry 12 passengers.

North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said in a statement: “The US military attempted to contact the pilot, who was unresponsive until the Cessna crashed near the George Washington National Forest in Virginia.”

“The NORAD aircraft were authorised to travel at supersonic speeds and a sonic boom may have been heard by residents of the region,” read the statement adding that “NORAD aircraft also used flares in an attempt to the pilot’s attention.”

“The plane took off from Elizabethton Municipal Airport in Elizabethton, Tennessee, and was bound for Long Island MacArthur Airport in New York, about 50 miles (80 km) east of Manhattan,” the FAA said in a statement, adding that “it and the National Transportation Safety Board would investigate.”

A flight-tracking website Flight Aware noted that the Cessna was registered to Encore Motors of Melbourne, Florida.

Encore owner John Rumpel told Washington Post that his daughter, a grandchild and her nanny were on board.

It is immediately unclear what caused the plane to go unresponsive

He said they had been returning to New York from his North Carolina home. “It descended at 20,000 ft a minute, and nobody could survive a crash from that speed,” Rumpel noted.

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