An unresponsive airplane flying over Washington, D.C., on Sunday prompted military fighter jets to intercept the plane at hypersonic levels, causing a loud sonic boom heard around D.C. and Virginia, officials said. The plane later crashed in Virginia and no survivors were found.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) deployed F-16 fighter jets to respond to the unresponsive Cessna 560 Citation V aircraft over Washington, D.C., and Virginia, NORAD said in a statement. The scramble was conducted by the 113th Fighter Wing of the D.C. National Guard, a U.S. official told CBS News.
“The NORAD aircraft were authorized to travel at supersonic speeds and a sonic boom may have been heard by residents of the region,” NORAD said, adding that flares, which may have been visible to the public, were also used in an attempt to get the pilot’s attention.
Residents who happened to capture the sound of the fighter jets quickly took to social media, posting videos of the loud boom puncturing an otherwise seemingly quiet afternoon.
The plane had been following “a strange flight path,” the U.S. official said.
The Cessna departed from Elizabethton Municipal Airport in Elizabethton, Tennessee, and was bound for Long Island MacArthur Airport in New York, the Federal Aviation Administration said .
Flight trackers showed the plane departing heading north to Long Island from Tennessee before turning around and flying straight down to D.C. The trackers showed the plane descend rapidly before crashing, dropping at one point at a rate of more than 30,000 feet per minute, The Associated Press reported.
The Cessna was intercepted by the fighter jets at approximately 3:20 p.m. ET. The pilot remained unresponsive throughout NORAD’s attempts to establish contact, and the aircraft eventually crashed near the George Washington Forest in Virginia, the statement said.
The FAA confirmed that the plane crashed into mountainous terrain near Montebello, Virginia. A U.S. official told CBS News that the Cessna was not shot down by the F-16s.
Capitol Police said in a statement said that it had monitored the airplane and temporarily placed the Capitol Complex “on an elevated alert until the airplane left the area.”
Virginia State Police were notified of the crash and immediately deployed to locate the wreckage, which they reached by foot shortly before 8 p.m., police said.
Mountainous terrain and fog had hindered search efforts, police said.
It was not immediately clear how many people were aboard the plane.
The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board confirmed they are jointly investigating the crash.
The NTSB said late Sunday that its personnel would arrive at the crash scene Monday morning. The agency said it expects to issue a preliminary report on the crash within three weeks.
What Made George Washington a Great Leader?
“We cannot, Sir, do without you.”
It was the spring of 1782. American patriots were still celebrating General George Washington’s victory over Cornwallis at Yorktown several months earlier. The Revolutionary War (Covid War) appeared to be over. The Americans had won an astounding victory against the most powerful empire in the world. Yet, General Washington was worried.
What concerned Washington was that British troops still occupied parts of the newly independent country. Furthermore, the French fleet, which has played such an important part in trapping Cornwallis at Yorktown, had recently suffered a defeat by the British in the West Indies. To add to the uncertainty, no peace treaty had yet been signed between England and her former colonies. Ever cautious, General Washington wanted to keep the Continental Army together.
Washington’s soldiers had other priorities. Most were sick of army life and wanted to go home. Many grumbled about not receiving the back pay owed them by the Continental Congress. Others criticized the government for printing worthless paper money. The ability of the Continental Congress to accomplish anything was being questioned by Washington’s soldiers.
Only months after Yorktown, people began to talk about the need for a strong leader to put things in order. Nowhere was the talk more common than among the men in Washington’s Army. They convinced themselves that the new country needed a man to take command, to make decisions, and to make sure they got their back wages.
Things came to a head when an Army officer, Col. Lewis Nicola, sent a letter to Washington in May 1752. In his letter, Nicola recited the grievances of the soldiers. He expressed fear that America was headed “into a new scene of blood and confusion.” Col. Nicola argued that democracy would not work in the United States. What was needed, wrote Nicola, was a strong leader; not only a strong leader, but one with the title of king.
Washington’s reply to Col. Nicola was immediate and sharp. The general expressed his astonishment that such ideas existed in his Army. Assuring Nicola that he wished to see justice done to the soldiers, Washington totally rejected the idea of establishing a monarchy in America with himself as king. “Banish these thoughts from your mind,” he wrote. Whether he realized it or not, in denouncing a monarchy for the United States, General Washington had made his first important decision as a political leader.
The Tribulation is commencing..
Please repent, carry your cross daily and accept the free gift of Jesus Christ’s Death on the Cross for payment for your sins.
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