The owner of the aircraft that crashed this Sunday near Washington DC, United States, after planes from the Armed Forces tried to establish contact with the pilot without success, told various media today that his family was on board.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating the causes that led to the crash of the private aircraft of the Cessna brand around 3:30 p.m. local time (7:30 p.m. GMT) in a “mountain area” near Montebello, Virginia.
According to The New York Timesthe plane was registered to the company Encore Motors of Melbourne and its owner, John Rumpel, 75, told the newspaper that on board were his daughter, a 2-year-old granddaughter and her nanny, returning home to East Hampton, New York after a family visit in North Carolina.
The FAA said the plane had as destination MacArthur Airport on Long Island, the area of New York state where East Hampton is located, and which had left the city of Elizabethton, in the state of Tennessee, neighboring North Carolina, in the south of the country.
Rumpel also stated to The Washington Post who was in contact with the FAA, stated that his “entire family” was on the plane and regretted that “no one could survive” given the rate of descent before crashing.
Virginia state police told local channel WFXR on Sunday night that the search tasks were underway, but there were bad weather conditions.
The plane flew over Washington and Virginia and was intercepted by F-16 fighter jets, They flew at supersonic speeds and used flares to get the pilot’s attention without responding, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) reported.
The supersonic roar of fighter jets It caught the attention of residents of the Washington, DC metropolitan area, but authorities said shortly thereafter that there was no active threat and that the noise came from a “Department of Defense authorized” flight.
“In coordination with the Federal Aviation AdministrationNORAD F-16 fighter jets responded to a Cessna 560 Citation V aircraft”which did not respond to their signals and which was flying over Washington and Virginia, the note points out.
“The pilot was not responding and, consequently, the Cessna crashed near the George Washington National Forest in Virginia. NORAD tried to establish contact with the pilot until the plane crashed,” the text states.
A White House official said in a statement that the president Joe Bidenwho was this Sunday playing golf with his brother near the joint base Andrews, on the outskirts of the capital, in Maryland, was informed about this incident and added that the sound coming from the planes was heard faintly in the area where the president was.
The Department of Security of the city of Washington, where both the residence of the president of the United States is located as well as the headquarters of the country’s Congress and other institutions, told its inhabitants shortly after the alarms went off due to the noise that was heard in the capital that there was no active threat.
(With information from EFE)