A sonic boom startled countless residents of the US capital Washington DC and surrounding cities on Sunday. The reason was a deployment of the Luftwaffe. Two F-16 fighter jets took off and accelerated to supersonic speeds to intercept a Cessna Citation light aircraft. This crashed a few later, killing everyone on board.
According to the North American Air Defense Command NORAD, the US military had attempted to contact the pilot of the Cessna. But he didn’t respond. The plane eventually crashed in a sparsely populated area in the state of Virginia. The American broadcaster CNN reported on the basis of an anonymous source that the small plane was not shot down by the army. It is common practice for the US Federal Aviation Administration to request military assistance when an aircraft is found to be flying in a dangerous or unsafe manner.
No survivors found
The aviation authority said the light aircraft departed from Elizabethton in the southern state of Tennessee and should have landed on Long Island in New York. The actual arrival point is about 500 kilometers as the crow flies from the crash site. According to CNN information, four people were aboard the machine. Why the pilot failed to respond – possibly due to a medical emergency – is under investigation. Various American media reported late Sunday evening (local time) that no survivors were found at the crash site.
Citing flight data from the provider Flightradar 24, the Washington Post also reported that a plane that could be the crash machine first flew over the Long Island destination, but then turned back. Without changing course, it would have flown in the opposite direction until the crash site data ended.
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