The large explosion heard on Sunday in Washington, D.C., was caused by the sonic blast produced by F-16 jet fighters scrambling in order to intercept a civilian aircraft that violated restricted airspace. As the Cessna was flying in an unusual path, the F-16 pilots were able to see that the civilian pilot was unconscious.
The loud boom that was heard across the DMV area was caused by an authorized DOD flight. This flight caused a sonic boom. That is all the information available at this time.
— Annapolis OEM (@AnnapolisOEM) June 4, 2023
The Continental US North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said two F-16 jets out of an Air National Guard base near Atlantic City, New Jersey, and two out of the DC National Guard at Andrews Air Force Base responded to the Cessna over Washington, D.C. and northern Virginia.
In order to catch up with the plane, the jets were authorized to fly at supersonic speeds, and the sonic boom came from the two F-16 jets out of Andrews.
Although the jets’ pilots attempted to contact the pilot of the Cessna, they were unsuccessful and the plane went down. The Federal Aviation Administration has not released further information about the crash.
Both pilots attempted to communicate with each other but were unsuccessful. Federal Aviation Administration has not released further information about the crash.
The flight path of the Cessna jet which crashed into the mountains in Virginia earlier today after entering restricted airspace over Washington D.C. and being pursued by F16 Fighter Jets.
— Oli London (@OliLondonTV) June 4, 2023
The Washington Post interviewed Cessna Owner:
According to Flight Aware (a website that tracks flights), the Cessna belongs to Encore Motors, located in Melbourne, Florida.
John Rumpel told The Washington Post his daughter and granddaughter were on board.
Rumpel, as quoted by The Post, said: “We don’t even know what happened.” He said, “We are talking to the FAA now,” before ending the call.
President Joe Biden was playing golf at Joint Base Andrews around the time of the sonic explosion. Although alerted, there wasn’t a “red alarm” which would have led to an evacuation.
Fox reported that Capitol security officials temporarily changed the alert levels from “Green” to “Yellow”, which is the highest.
Fox reported officials telling them that they had raised the Capitol for a short time before determining that the plane that entered restricted airspace was not a threat. They also told Fox the Capitol never posed a risk.
We will inform you as soon as more information becomes available.