A supersonic boom sounded on Sunday June 4 in Washington, when two fighter jets sought to intercept an unresponsive aircraft before it crashed in the state of Virginia, Agence France- Press (AFP) officials. Residents of the federal capital of the United States and its suburbs have reported hearing a thundering noise that shook windows and walls for miles around and raised many questions on social networks.
Two F-16 fighters were mobilized due to a lack of response from a private jet “Cessna 560 Citation V over Washington and Northern Virginia”, described the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) in a press release. The two fighter jets took off from the Andrews base in Maryland, a Pentagon official told AFP, to join the aircraft which then crashed in a mountainous area in the south-west of the country. Virginia.
President Joe Biden, who was in the area on Sunday, has been briefed on the incident, a White House official told reporters, without specifying whether precautionary measures had been taken.
No pilot and passenger information
The civil aircraft had taken off from Elizabethton, Tennessee, to join Long Island, New York State, according to the American civil aviation (FAA).
NORAD fighters “were allowed to travel at supersonic speeds and a sonic boom could be heard by residents of the area”, described the command in a press release. Sonic booms occur when a device breaks the sound barrier. They can surprise the population and cause damage, in particular by breaking windows.
NORAD said it had sought to establish contact with the pilot before the plane crashed, intercepting him around 3:20 p.m. local time. The aircraft also threw decoys in an attempt to get the pilot’s attention. The aircraft ultimately crashed near Montebello, Va., about 270 miles southwest of Washington, around 3:30 p.m. local time, the FAA reported. The military did not shoot down the plane, several US media reported.
No information has yet been released about the pilot and any passengers on the aircraft.