Va. - A pilot lost consciousness and the plane drifted into
restricted airspace over the nation's capital, scrambling
fighter jets that stayed with the small aircraft until it
ran out of fuel and crashed Saturday into the Atlantic
Ocean, the Coast Guard said.
searched the waters for the single-engine Cirrus plane,
which crashed about 50 miles southeast of Chincoteague
Island along the Virginia coast, Coast Guard Petty Officer
Nate Littlejohn said. The plane took off from Waukesha,
Wisconsin, and was headed to Manassas, Virginia, which is
about 30 miles southwest of Washington, National
Transportation Safety Board spokesman Peter Knudson said.
Coast Guard was notified about 2:40 p.m. Saturday that the
plane failed to land in Manassas and flew into restricted
airspace. Two Air Force F16s took to the air and confirmed
the pilot was unconscious. They stayed with the plane until
one else was on board.
plane was registered to Ronald Hutchinson, of Brookfield,
Wisconsin. Relatives reached at a phone listing for him
didn't want to comment Saturday night.
Coast Guard helicopter found no sign of the plane before
heading back for refueling. A C130 airplane based out of
Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and an 87-foot cutter from
Virginia Beach also were responding, Littlejohn said.