A supersonic bang shook Washington: 2 fighter jets joined a plane before it crashed

Steph Deschamps / June 7, 2023

A supersonic bang sounded in Washington on Sunday as two fighter jets tried to intercept an unresponsive aircraft before it crashed in the US state of Virginia, officials told AFP.
 
Residents of the US federal capital and its suburbs reported hearing a thunderous noise that rattled windows and walls for miles around, and prompted numerous questions on social networks.
 
The two fighters took off from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, a Pentagon official told AFP, joining an aircraft described by the US Civil Aviation Authority (FAA) as a Cessna Citation light aircraft, which then crashed in a mountainous area of southwest Virginia.
  
The aircraft had taken off from Elizabethton, Tennessee (east), bound for Long Island, New York (northeast), according to the FAA.
  
Flight-tracking websites showed that the private jet had turned around after reaching its destination, heading south.
 
"The loud noise that was heard in the Washington metropolitan area was caused by an authorized Department of Defense flight. This flight caused a supersonic bang," the Office of Emergency Management in the city of Annapolis, some 50km east of the federal capital, said on Twitter.
 
The aircraft the fighters were trying to intercept crashed near Montebello, Virginia, about 270 km southwest of Washington, at around 3:30 pm local time, the FAA reported.
 
No information has yet been released about the pilot or any of the aircraft's passengers.
 
Preliminary information is due to be released shortly by the FAA and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).
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