Plane crashes into Atlantic Ocean off Virginia coast - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Plane crashes into Atlantic Ocean off Virginia coast

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

A Cirrus SR22 recreational plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean Saturday, 51 miles southeast of Chincoteague Island, Va. The Coast Guard reported one person was on board.

Sources with knowledge of the initial investigation say it is highly likely the pilot is dead.

According to the NTSB, the plane took off from Waukesha, Wisc. and was scheduled to land in Manassas, Va.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard 5th District in Portsmouth, Va. received notification at approximately 2:40 p.m. that the aircraft with only the pilot aboard failed to land at Manassas Regional Airport as scheduled.

Instead the plane remained at an altitude of approximately 13,000 feet and continued into restricted air space near Washington, D.C.
 
Two U.S. F-16 aircraft came alongside the small plane to investigate and observed the pilot to be unconscious in the cockpit.
 
The F-16 airmen escorted the plane on its course over the Eastern Shore of Virginia until it eventually ran out of fuel and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean.
 
The Coast Guard launched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew and an HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Air Station Elizabeth City in North Carolina and the crew of Cutter Beluga, homeported in Virignia Beach, to respond.

The NTSB signaled Saturday afternoon it has started an investigation into the crash.

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