On Sunday, The Gateway Pundit reported that an explosion-like sound shocked the residents in the vicinity of Washington DC, echoing across nearby areas in Maryland and Virginia.
The authorities have determined that the cause of the loud boom that occurred at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday was just an F-16 fighter plane that broke the sound barrier while participating in military drills over the Chesapeake Bay, per Daily Mail.
The drills were said to be routine and not a result of a serious military crisis.
New developments revealed that US F-16 fighter jets were rapidly deployed, causing a sonic boom in response to an unresponsive aircraft in restricted airspace that eventually crashed in the southwestern region of Virginia.
The FAA has confirmed a Cessna Citation crashed into the mountainous region of Southwest Virginia on Sunday afternoon.
“A Cessna Citation crashed into mountainous terrain in a sparsely populated area of southwest Virginia around 3 p.m. local time on June 4. The aircraft took off from Elizabethton Municipal Airport in Elizabethton, Tenn., and was bound for Long Island MacArthur Airport in New York,” FAA said in a statement.
“The FAA and NTSB will investigate. The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation and provide all further updates,” it added.
After deviating from its planned landing in Ronkonkoma, NY, N611VG a Cessna C560 jet flew right over Washington DC before contact was lost near Montebello, VA. Reports of a sonic boom were heard in the DC area, one could presume jets were scrambled to get eyes on the situatio. pic.twitter.com/9pRDw79o6h
— Zach Halverson (@ZachHalverson) June 4, 2023
North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) issued a statement and claimed they did not shoot the plane down in Virginia.
In coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration, NORAD F-16 fighter aircraft responded to an unresponsive Cessna 560 Citation V aircraft over Washington, D.C., and northern Virginia on June 4, 2023.
The NORAD aircraft were authorized to travel at supersonic speeds and a sonic boom may have been heard by residents of the region.
During this event, the NORAD aircraft also used flares – which may have been visible to the public – in an attempt to draw attention from the pilot. Flares are employed with highest regard for safety of the intercepted aircraft and people on the ground. Flares burn out quickly and completely and there is no danger to the people on the ground when dispensed.
The civilian aircraft was intercepted at approximately 3:20 p.m. Eastern Time. The pilot was unresponsive and the Cessna subsequently crashed near the George Washington National Forest, Virginia. NORAD attempted to establish contact with the pilot until the aircraft crashed.
NORAD said that four F-16 fighter planes, two from the DC National Guard’s Andrews Air Force Base and two from a base in Atlantic City, New Jersey, intercepted the Cessna.
Two F-16 fighter aircraft from Andrews were authorized to fly at supersonic speed to catch up with the plane.
DOD said the pursuit was not responsible for the plane crash.