ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) — A small jet airplane that took off from Elizabethton’s airport crashed in a mountainous part of Virginia on Sunday, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The Virginia State Police (VSP) said the crash site was located by first responders on foot just before 8 p.m. and no survivors have been found.
A statement from the FAA said a Cessna Citation flew out from the Elizabethton Municipal Airport and was bound for Long Island MacArthur Airport in New York. At around 3:30 p.m., the aircraft reportedly crashed near Montebello, Va, according to the FAA.
News Channel 11’s affiliate station, WRIC, reported that North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Continental U.S. Region said that authorities were concerned about an “unresponsive ” plane flying a strange flight path over the D.C. area. F-16s were scrambled to investigate which led to a sonic boom that was heard over the D.C. area Sunday afternoon.
NORAD reported to WRIC that the F-16s used flares in an attempt to draw the attention of the pilot. WRIC reports the Cessna plane was intercepted by the F-16s around 3:20 p.m. and the pilot of the aircraft was found unconscious. The plane later crashed near Montebello, Va, according to the FAA.
A spokesperson with the VSP said their agency, with help from the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office and Augusta County Fire-Rescue located the crash site on foot around 8 p.m. The update said crews found no survivors and VSP has suspended its search efforts.
The FAA, along with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), is investigating the crash. No cause for the crash or identities and number of occupants have been released. A White House official told WRIC that President Joe Biden has been briefed on the incident.
This is a developing story and updates will be provided as they become available.