On Sunday, a report went viral noting that Washington, D.C., had been rocked by a massive ‘boom.’
Indeed, it was a sonic boom caused by the acceleration of an F-16 fighter jet after several of them scrambled to intercept an aircraft that was mysteriously approaching the nation’s capital.
A total of six fighters were dispatched, according to reports, and two managed to intercept the private jet, which appeared to be on autopilot. The pilot of the plane appeared to be incapacitated, reports added.
Here are more details, per The Western Journal:
A frequent donor to the NRA and Republican politicians and causes told reporters that he lost several family members when a private jet crashed after flying through restricted airspace Sunday.
John Rumpel told The Washington Post that his “entire family” was on board the Cessna Citation that crashed near Montebello, Virginia, around 3:30 p.m. Sunday.
Multiple outlets, including The New York Times, reported that Rumpel’s daughter, 2-year-old granddaughter, and a nanny went down with the plane, as well as a pilot.
The U.K.’s Daily Mail identified the daughter as Adina Azarian, 49, and reported that the Rumpels had lost another daughter in a scuba diving accident when she was only 19.
The jet was owned by Encore Motors of Melbourne, Florida, which Rumpel and his wife own, according to federal records cited by The Daily Beast.
The scrambled fighters caused a sonic boom that “startled residents across the District, Maryland and Virginia around 3:10 p.m.,” according to the Post. The report said the two jets deployed flares in an attempt to get the attention of the pilot.
“We know nothing about the crash,” Rumpel told the Post. “We are talking to the FAA now … I’ve got to keep the line clear.”
“It descended at 20,000 feet a minute, and nobody could survive a crash from that speed,” he added.
“Data from flight tracking service Flightradar24 shows a plane matching the Citation’s description and flight path reaching Long Island before turning around,” the Post reported. “The plane flew directly over Washington before the data ends near Staunton, Va.”
It crashed near the George Washington National Forest in Virginia.
Fox News added: “According to the Federal Aviation Administration, a Cessna Citation that took off from Elizabethton, Tennessee, bound for Islip, New York, crashed in the sparsely populated town of Montebello, Virginia, around 3 p.m. There were four people on board.”