A Cessna business jet flew out of St. Louis Regional Airport and was destined for Fort Lauderdale.
During its Flight Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport air traffic controllers lost communication with the Small plane prompting the Florida Air National Guard to dispatch two F-15 fighter jets.
As the tw0 fighter jet approached the Small plane the plane“rapidly” descended and crashed off Florida coast.
F-15 fighter jets pilots watched plane descending and crashing
U.S. Coast Guard crews are now searching for a small airplane wreckage that crashed hundreds of miles off the coast of Florida
Maj. Mark R. Lazane a spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command told The New York Times that the fighter jets approached the plane, but it “rapidly” descended and crashed.
Lazane says the fighter jets did not fire upon the Cessna.
Officials say the pilot was the only person on board. The pilot’s name was not immediately released.
Related Article: See What Happens When A Plane Violates Presidential Airspace
The jet, was a Cessna Citation V, departed from St. Louis Regional Airport at 1:35 p.m. CDT and was set to land at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, the FAA said.
It crashed at around 6 p.m.
“The aircraft was out of communication with air traffic controllers for more than one hour before it crashed,” a statement from the FAA read. “FAA air traffic controllers tracked the flight on radar during that time.”
According to FlightAware records, the N832R Cessna, owned by Hypo Consulting LLC, made a sudden drop in speed about 5:45 p.m. AirNav RadarBox records show there were erratic changes in speed and altitude.
The U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater HC-130 Hercules airplane crew responded to the downed aircraft
Here’s what it looks like to be intercepted by the United States Air Force for violating restricted airspace.