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 323 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
0:36
Wake and funeral announced for Westchester correction officer killed in crash

Wake and funeral announced for Westchester correction officer killed in crash

2:04
Sunny in the 60s today, light showers expected tomorrow morning

Sunny in the 60s today, light showers expected tomorrow morning

3:07
Unconscious woman rescued from Spring Valley apartment complex fire; firefighter injured

Unconscious woman rescued from Spring Valley apartment complex fire; firefighter injured

0:20
3 Hudson Valley small towns ranked among best places for retirement

3 Hudson Valley small towns ranked among best places for retirement

Vote 2024: Ask your questions for Congressional District 16 Democratic candidates

Vote 2024: Ask your questions for Congressional District 16 Democratic candidates

0:32
Naming contest announced for baby falcons on Mario M. Cuomo Bridge

Naming contest announced for baby falcons on Mario M. Cuomo Bridge

0:56
Headlines: 2 men from Orange County sentenced for drug dealing, Ulster County drug and weapon bust

Headlines: 2 men from Orange County sentenced for drug dealing, Ulster County drug and weapon bust

0:42
State DEC introduces new shark handling regulations for marine anglers

State DEC introduces new shark handling regulations for marine anglers

0:36
Rockland County road resurfacing program begins

Rockland County road resurfacing program begins

0:22
Authorities: Man and woman arrested in Westchester for attempted homicide and assault

Authorities: Man and woman arrested in Westchester for attempted homicide and assault

0:40
Former Spring Valley building inspector files federal lawsuit against Rockland County and DA's office

Former Spring Valley building inspector files federal lawsuit against Rockland County and DA's office

0:24
New gastropub The Governess set to open on Poughkeepsie's waterfront

New gastropub The Governess set to open on Poughkeepsie's waterfront

0:36
Traffic Alert: Main Street closure in Kingston for roadwork

Traffic Alert: Main Street closure in Kingston for roadwork

0:48
9 steps to take if your ‘fur-ever’ friend goes missing

9 steps to take if your ‘fur-ever’ friend goes missing

0:31
President Joe Biden to visit Village of Irvington for celebrity fundraiser

President Joe Biden to visit Village of Irvington for celebrity fundraiser

2:39
Mary J. Blige’s Road to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame started in Yonkers public housing

Mary J. Blige’s Road to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame started in Yonkers public housing

2:04
‘She wore her uniform proudly.’ Westchester COBA mourns late officer Eleanor Birrittella

‘She wore her uniform proudly.’ Westchester COBA mourns late officer Eleanor Birrittella

1:45
West Point’s Keller Army Hospital, Hudson Valley VA form partnership to expand access

West Point’s Keller Army Hospital, Hudson Valley VA form partnership to expand access

2:19
Turn to Tara team looks at new domestic violence laws implemented across tri-state following NJ murder-suicide

Turn to Tara team looks at new domestic violence laws implemented across tri-state following NJ murder-suicide

1:56
Armonk twins showcase baking skills for Passover

Armonk twins showcase baking skills for Passover