WASHINGTON (AP) — A temperamental and unresponsive business jet that flew over the nation’s capital on Sunday afternoon prompted 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 throughout the capital region.
The Federal Aviation Administration said the Cessna Citation took off from Elizabethtown, Tennessee, on Sunday and was heading for Long Island’s MacArthur Airport. Inexplicably, the plane turned back over Long Island in New York and flew over DC before crashing into mountainous terrain near Montebello, Virginia at around 3:30 p.m.
It was not immediately clear why the plane was unresponsive, why it crashed or how many people were on board.
A US official confirmed to The Associated Press that the military aircraft rushed to respond to the small plane, which then crashed. The official was not authorized to publicly discuss details of the military operation and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The plane that crashed was registered with Encore Motors of Melbourne Inc. A woman who identified herself as Barbara Rumpel, who is listed as president of Encore Motors of Melbourne, said she had no no comment Sunday when reached by an Associated Press reporter.
President Joe Biden was golfing at Joint Base Andrews when the fighter jet took off. Anthony Guglielmi, spokesman for the US Secret Service, said the incident had no impact on the president’s movements on Sunday. Biden was golfing at the military base in Maryland with his brother in the afternoon.
The Pentagon, DC Air National Guard and North American Aerospace Defense Command did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Sunday.
Associated Press writer Chris Megerian in Washington contributed to this report.