No survivors found after plane that flew over DC and led to fighter jet scramble crashes in Virginia

A wayward and unresponsive business plane that flew over the nation’s capital Sunday afternoon caused the military to scramble a fighter jet before the plane crashed in Virginia, officials said.

Associated Press

Jun 4, 2023, 10:48 PM

Updated 350 days ago

Share:

A wayward and unresponsive business plane that flew over the nation’s capital Sunday afternoon caused the military to scramble a fighter jet before the plane crashed in Virginia, officials said. The fighter jet caused a loud sonic boom that was heard across the capital region.
Hours later, police said rescuers had reached the site of the plane crash in a rural part of the Shenandoah Valley and that no survivors were found.
The Federal Aviation Administration says the Cessna Citation took off from Elizabethtown, Tennessee, on Sunday and was headed for Long Island’s MacArthur Airport. Inexplicably, the plane 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.
It was not immediately clear why the plane was nonresponsive, why it crashed or how many people were on board. 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.
A U.S. official confirmed to The Associated Press that the military jet had scrambled to respond to the small plane, which wasn’t responding to radio transmissions and later crashed. The official was not authorized to publicly discuss details of the military operation and spoke on condition of anonymity.
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.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command later said in a statement that the F-16 was authorized to travel at supersonic speeds, which caused a sonic boom that was heard in Washington and parts of Virginia and Maryland.
“During this event, the NORAD aircraft also used flares – which may have been visible to the public – in an attempt to draw attention from the pilot,” the statement said. “Flares are employed with highest regard for 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.”
Virginia State Police said officers were notified of the potential crash shortly before 4 p.m. and rescuers reached the crash site by foot around four hours later. No survivors were found, police said.
The plane that crashed was registered to Encore Motors of Melbourne Inc, which is based in Florida. John Rumpel, who runs the company, told The New York Times that his daughter, 2-year-old granddaughter, her nanny and the pilot were aboard the plane. They were returning to their home in East Hampton, on Long Island, after visiting his house in North Carolina, he said.
Rumpel, a pilot, 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.
“I don’t think they’ve found the wreckage yet,” Rumpel told the newspaper. “It descended at 20,000 feet a minute, and nobody could survive a crash from that speed.”
A woman who identified herself as Barbara Rumpel, listed as the president of the company, said she had no comment Sunday when reached by The Associated Press.
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.
President Joe Biden was playing golf at Joint Base Andrews around the time the fighter jet took off. Anthony Guglielmi, spokesperson for the U.S. Secret Service, said the incident had no impact on the president’s movements Sunday. Biden was playing golf at the Maryland military base with his brother in the afternoon.
A White House official said the president had been briefed on the crash and that the sound of the scrambling aircraft was faint at Joint Base Andrews.


More from News 12
Nassau County reports 911 outage; Here are the local police precinct numbers for emergencies

Nassau County reports 911 outage; Here are the local police precinct numbers for emergencies

2:33
Sun returns with highs near 70 today; temps to climb near 80 midweek

Sun returns with highs near 70 today; temps to climb near 80 midweek

1:52
Teachers union: Concessions made in Sachem to keep budget gap as small as possible

Teachers union: Concessions made in Sachem to keep budget gap as small as possible

1:57
What new evidence could have triggered another search at suspected Gilgo Beach killer Heuermann's home?

What new evidence could have triggered another search at suspected Gilgo Beach killer Heuermann's home?

3:37
Sources: State police search Massapequa Park home of alleged Gilgo Beach serial killer

Sources: State police search Massapequa Park home of alleged Gilgo Beach serial killer

2:16
‘Just wish it would go away.’ Neighbors frustrated over police presence at Rex Heuermann’s home

‘Just wish it would go away.’ Neighbors frustrated over police presence at Rex Heuermann’s home

Guide: School Vote 2024 budgets and tax informaton

Guide: School Vote 2024 budgets and tax informaton

1:48
East Patchogue teen files lawsuit blaming Brookhaven Town following cancer diagnosis

East Patchogue teen files lawsuit blaming Brookhaven Town following cancer diagnosis

0:19
2 people injured after car overturns on Long Island Expressway in Melville

2 people injured after car overturns on Long Island Expressway in Melville

0:21
Police: Man in critical condition after being pulled from pool in West Hills

Police: Man in critical condition after being pulled from pool in West Hills

2:24
Main Street Long Island: Showcasing the best of Glen Cove

Main Street Long Island: Showcasing the best of Glen Cove

1:09
Paws & Pals: Dogs up for adoption at Save-A-Pet Animal Shelter on May 20

Paws & Pals: Dogs up for adoption at Save-A-Pet Animal Shelter on May 20

1:46
Pizza Strong: Massive fundraiser supports family of slain NYPD Detective Jonathan Diller

Pizza Strong: Massive fundraiser supports family of slain NYPD Detective Jonathan Diller

0:30
Portion of Southern State Parkway in West Babylon reopens following car accident

Portion of Southern State Parkway in West Babylon reopens following car accident

1:55
Northwell Health Walk at Jones Beach raises money to support women and children

Northwell Health Walk at Jones Beach raises money to support women and children

0:15
Superintendent: Swastika found on classroom desk at Harborfields High School

Superintendent: Swastika found on classroom desk at Harborfields High School

1:59
Greenlawn teen arrested, accused of making ‘threat of mass harm’ at Oldfield Middle School

Greenlawn teen arrested, accused of making ‘threat of mass harm’ at Oldfield Middle School

1:45
 Missed swim lessons due to COVID-19 may be contributing to rise in child drownings

Missed swim lessons due to COVID-19 may be contributing to rise in child drownings

0:51
Vet Fest in Farmingdale aims to support, encourage veterans who need help

Vet Fest in Farmingdale aims to support, encourage veterans who need help

0:17
Authorities: George Washington Bridge climber in custody

Authorities: George Washington Bridge climber in custody