Cessna pilot was 'slumped over' in cockpit before Virginia crash that killed 4

United States Military officials said that the US fighter pilots attempted to get the pilots attention for around 30 minutes.

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
National Guard F-16 fighter pilots revealed that the pilot operating the Cessna plane that flew over restricted airspace in Washington D.C. on Sunday was found "slumped over" moments before the plane crashed in a remote area of Virginia, which killed four people.

United States Military officials said that the US fighter pilots attempted to get the civilian pilots attention for around 30 minutes before the plane plummeted at approximately 3 pm, Fox News reports.

"The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed that the pilot did not respond to air traffic control instruction around 1:28 p.m. EDT," North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said in a statement. "Subsequently, the NORAD pilots visually inspected the Cessna as it was still airborne and confirmed that the pilot was unresponsive. NORAD pilots described the Cessna pilot as being slumped over."

The people killed in the crash have been identified as Hamptons realtor Adina Azarian, 49, her daughter Aria Azarian, 2, Evadnie Smith, the child's nanny, and the pilot Jeff Hefner. Adina Azarian is the adopted daughter of a longtime GOP donor, John Rumpel, who owned the plane, according to Washington Post.

"They were loving, caring children," Rumpel told the Post. "We had no one else, and we loved her."

Courtesy: Facebook & Instagram

The Virginia State Police issued a statement saying that the human remains will be transported to the state medical examiner's office for autopsy and identification. 

The fatal crash sparked a flurry on Sunday after a loud "supersonic boom" could be heard in Washington D.C. following reports of an unidentified plane flying above restricted US airspace.

According to Fox News, the US deployed six F-16 jets to intercept the plane, including two from Washington, DC, two from New Jersey and two out of South Carolina.

Rumpel, who is a pilot and runs Encore Motors of Melbourne Inc., said his family was returning to their home in East Hampton after visiting his house in North Carolina, Fox reports.

Courtesy: Facebook

On Monday, the White House expressed its "deepest condolences" and National Security spokesman John Kirby said during a press brief regarding the US military response, "What I saw was just a classic, textbook response."

Authorities are still investigating the cause of the crash but experts say it's likely that the plane lost pressurization, causing hypoxia, a condition that occurs when someone's brain is deprived of adequate oxygen, according to Fox News.

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