The private Cessna that made a mysterious U-turn toward Washington, D.C. yesterday after losing cabin pressure, causing everyone on board to lose consciousness and causing Pentagon officials and two F-16 aircraft to scramble was likely on autopilot.
A prominent Trump donor’s daughter Adina Azarian and 2-year-old granddaughter Aria, as well as a caregiver and unidentified pilot, were on board. Sunday at 1:13 p.m., the jet departed Elizabethton Airport in Tennessee for MacArthur Airport in Islip, Long Island. Instead of flying over MacArthur, the aircraft turned around at 2:45 p.m. and returned to the south, alerting authorities in Washington, D.C.
After no one on board responded to calls from the ground, two F-16 fighter airplanes from Joint Base Andrews raced toward the aircraft to investigate.
They were flying so rapidly that portions of Virginia and the District of Columbia heard a sonic explosion.
The F-16 pilots reportedly discovered the Cessna pilot passed over in the cockpit after they had taken off. In a matter of seconds, the Cessna plummeted into St Mary’s Wilderness, 175 miles southwest of Washington, DC, at a harrowing 28,000 feet per minute.
Aviation experts told DailyMail.com that the incident was likely caused by a cabin pressure collapse, which caused everyone on board, including the pilot, to lose consciousness from lack of oxygen.
When the aircraft approached Long Island, it turned around and headed south instead of landing.
Kyle Bailey, a former member of the FAA Safety Team, told DailyMail.com that the pilot’s route planning was likely to blame.
What appears to have occurred while the aircraft was flying to Islip was of a very high magnitude.
They could have been incapacitated at that time. The pilot’s program contains waypoints, comparable to a GPS system. Therefore, the autopilot may have flown him to Islip, and the next point may have been the airport they departed from.
It could have been in the direction of Washington, D.C. or somewhere in the south. It appears to have been attached in that direction.
In such a circumstance, it is probable that the plane was piloting itself.
Most probable, there was a loss of cabin pressure, or the aviator lost consciousness. He could have suffered a heart attack or something similar, but given that we’re aware of no emergency calls from passengers, I’m inclined more towards loss of cabin pressure.
Former FAA Safety Team Representative Kyle Bailey told DailyMail.com, “It typically occurs in older aircraft.”
The Cessna involved was a 1990-built Cessna Citation V 560. The business was owned by Adina’s adoptive parents, John and Barbara Rumpel, who also acknowledged their daughter’s demise.
According to Bailey, an aircraft constructed that long ago would be considered ancient in aviation parlance.
‘It wouldn’t have the latest and greatest technology, the planes really evolved around the year 2000 that’s when the technology really went crazy,’ Bailey said.
On such aircraft, a “complicated” network of pressure relief valves may have malfunctioned, which may have occurred abruptly or gradually.
“When you’re up there, it could be seconds, but if it’s very slow, it could manifest as slowly as making you tired, and then you’ll eventually pass out.”
‘It’s interesting, it probably happened fairly quickly because the pilot, if he was feeling ill or even slightly ill, he’d likely want to land at a closer airport.’
He stated that by the time the F-16s were dispatched, the aircraft was likely out of fuel.
Actually, the scheduling works out flawlessly. It crashed roughly an hour after flying over Islip, and there is a 45-minute fuel reserve, so the theory that it ran out of fuel fits precisely.
It ran out of fuel coincidentally just as it entered the DC zone.
At 3.20 p.m., the F-16s were airborne.
The Cessna fell into the St. Mary’s Wilderness in the Shenandoah Valley at 3.22 p.m.
The impact was so violent that it created a ‘crater’ in the ground.
Bailey stated that a descent rate of 2800 feet per minute is everyone’s worst dread.
However, they would not have been conscious, so no one would have experienced suffering.
The other passengers may not have known how to sound the alarm, he continued, and it was too early to rule out the possibility that the pilot became incapacitated by himself.