Breaking news, pilot of doomed virginia ‘ghost plane’ was seen slumped over before crash, social links for ronny reyes.
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The pilot who flew the “ghost plane” that crashed in Virginia on Sunday was seen “slumped over” in his seat by military jets that flew at supersonic speeds to catch up to the doomed flight.
The Department of Defense deployed six F-16 fighter jets out of Joint Base Andrews to race toward the private Cessna after it veered into restricted space around DC — and one of the pilots got close enough to the errant aircraft to peer into the cockpit window and see that the pilot was out cold in the left seat, the North American Aerospace Defense Command said Monday.
It appears that a catastrophic event may have occurred about 15 minutes into the flight, as the jet was flying over Virginia for the first time.
“The NORAD pilots visually inspected the Cessna as it was still airborne and confirmed that the pilot was unresponsive. NORAD pilots described the Cessna pilot as being slumped over,” read a statement.
Aviation experts have suggested the plane may have lost pressurization, leading to the pilot and his three passengers losing consciousness while the aircraft eerily continued on autopilot around 34,000 feet until it ran out of fuel and nosedived into a mountainous, heavily wooded area around 3:30 p.m., killing all aboard.
The pilot, who has yet to be identified, was flying from Tennessee to the Hamptons on Long Island with realtor Adina Azarian, her 2-year-old daughter, Aria, and the tot’s nanny when the plane made a near-180 degree turn as it got to New York.
The plane likely was on autopilot, given that it made no attempt to descend at Long Island’s MacArthur Airport and instead appeared to go back to Tennessee, Jeff Guzzetti, a former Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board investigator, told The Washington Post .
“Whatever happened, happened at altitude, which is a critical location to lose pressurization,” Guzzetti told the outlet. “The higher up in altitude you are, the less time you have to get on oxygen.”
He added that the flight’s last minutes indicate the plane ran out of fuel.
Officials have said the Cessna pilot did not respond when the plane veered off course and into restricted airspace around Washington, prompting the fighter jets to scramble.
The government considered the situation so urgent at the time that it took the rare step of allowing the jets to fly at supersonic speeds, causing a sonic boom that rattled residents across the region.
The military jets encountered the wayward plane around 3:20 p.m. about 20 miles northeast of Reagan Airport, the Washington Post said.
As the Cessna began its chaotic descent, it dropped more than 30,000 feet per minute before crashing about 3:30 p.m. in a remote area near the Blue Ridge Parkway around Raphine.
John Rumpel, 75, of Encore Motors of Melbourne Inc., confirmed that his daughter and granddaughter were aboard the plane, which his company recently acquired. He said they had been visiting him in North Carolina and were headed back to their East Hampton home when they died.
Rumpel, a pilot himself, said that if it’s true everyone aboard the flight became unconscious, “They all just would have gone to sleep and never woke up.”
That also would mean the pilot and passengers would have been spared knowing their fate.
First responders described a grisly scene when they arrived on foot to the crash location, about 160 miles southwest of the capital, on Sunday around 8 p.m..
The horrific crash site had at most only four recognizable pieces from the plane, with a first responder telling CNN: “There was nothing really bigger than your arm.”
NTSB investigator Adam Gerhardt told reporters Monday that the “highly fragmented” wreckage and the fact that the scene is extremely remote in a heavily wooded, mountainous region makes it “a very challenging accident site.”
The Cessna was not required to have a black box, which would have recorded the moments leading up to the crash, but investigators will search in the hopes there was one, Gerhardt said.
Investigators are currently gathering information from radar, weather data, the plane’s maintenance records and the pilot’s medical records for clues.
Gerhardt added that a preliminary report on the crash could be out in about 10 days, although a final report would likely take one to two years.
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Four died in ‘ghost plane’ crash that sparked Washington security scare
The pilot appearing to be unresponsive at the controls, possibly rendered unconscious when the pressure inexplicably dropped.
Four people, including the pilot, were killed in Sunday's crash of a ‘ghost plane’ that caused a security scare when it flew over restricted airspace near Washington, authorities said.
The Department of Defense scrambled F-16 fighter jets, which triggered a sonic boom over the US capital as they pursued the private Cessna that crashed in southwest Virginia.
The pilot appearing to be unresponsive at the controls, possibly rendered unconscious when the pressure inexplicably dropped. The aircraft then crashed near Raphine, Virginia, leaving a “crater" that suggested almost a nosedive.
The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed that all the four people were killed in the crash, without identifying them. There were no survivors, Virginia State Police said. The crash site had at most only four recognizable pieces from the plane, the New York Post reported citing a responder. “There was nothing really bigger than your arm," the responder said.
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator Adam Gerhardt said the wreckage was highly fragmented. The accident site is heavily wooded, and the rural mountainous terrain makes it "a very challenging accident site." The NTSB will remove wreckage and move it to a secure location in Delaware.
"Basically everything is on the table," Gerhardt said of the investigation. "The airplane, the engines, the weather conditions, pilot qualifications, the maintenance records — all aspects will be of course items we routinely look at."
The Cessna was not required to have a black box, but investigators will search in the hopes there was one, Gerhardt said.
He said a preliminary report on the crash could be out in about 10 days, although a final report would likely take one to two years.
John Rumpel of Encore Motors confirmed that his daughter, 2-year-old granddaughter and a nanny were aboard the doomed flight along with their pilot.
The Cessna appeared to be flying on autopilot, a report said though it’s not clear why the plane was nonresponsive or why it crashed.
Rumpel told the New York Times his family was returning to their East Hampton home Sunday after visiting him in North Carolina.
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