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Airborne alert: several fighter jets intercepted a private plane that violated Washington's airspace

The small aircraft ended up crashing in a mountainous area, with no survivors. The F-16s, which did not shoot down the aircraft, caused a sonic boom heard throughout the capital.

Several F-16 flying.

(Wikimedia Commons)

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A private civilian aircraft flying over Washington did not respond to requests from the ground, prompting the Army to send in reconnaissance fighters. Ultimately, the small plane ended up crashing in a mountainous area near the state of Virginia, authorities said.

It is being investigated whether the aircraft - a Cessna 560 - violated restricted airspace on purpose or an emergency occurred on board. The authorities point out that the F-16s sent for reconnaissance did not shoot down the civilian aircraft. According to a statement from the Continental Region of the U.S. Aerospace Defense Command, the aircraft's pilot did not respond when the fighter jets attempted to establish contact.

The fighter jets were authorized to travel at supersonic speeds, therefore causing a sonic boom heard throughout the capital area as they scrambled to attempt to intercept the plane.

The civilian aircraft eventually crashed near the George Washington National Forest in Virginia. Four people were on board, and no survivors have been located.

The victims: family of a former NRA board member

Barbara Rumpel, a board member of the Women's NRA of Florida, confirmed that her daughter and granddaughter were among the victims of the accident. "I have lost my family, my daughter and granddaughter," Rumpel wrote in a Facebook comment.