The Coast Guard is responding to a plane crash Saturday approximately 51 miles southeast of Chincoteague Island.
Watchstanders at the Coast Guard 5th District in Portsmouth received notification at approximately 2:40 p.m. that a single-engine Cirrus aircraft with only the pilot aboard failed to land at Manassas Regional Airport as scheduled. Instead the Cirrus remained at an altitude of approximately 13,000 feet and continued into restricted air space in the vicinity of Washington, D.C.
Two U.S. NORAD F-16 aircraft came alongside the Cirrus to investigate and observed the pilot to be unconscious in the cockpit.
The F-16 airmen escorted the Cirrus on its course over the Eastern Shore of Virginia until it 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.