Single-engine plane crashes into Atlantic Ocean after pilot loses consciousness

By Kyle Johnson,

A single-engine airplane heading to Manassas, Virginia crashed into the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday off the coast of Virginia.

The pilot, who was the sole occupant, is believed to have lost consciousness during the flight and crossed into restricted airspace near Washington, D.C., The Washington Post reports. The plane flew at an altitude of about 13,000 feet.

The Cirrus SR22 took off from Waukesha County Airport in Wisconsin and eventually crashed into the ocean about 50 miles off the coast when it finally exhausted its fuel supply.

According to The Associated Press, when the plane entered the restrictive airspace Air Force fighter jets were scrambled to trail the plane as efforts to raise the pilot continued to fail.

The pilots were able to fly close enough to the small plane to visually identify that the pilot was not conscious and the Federal Aviation Administration said the pilot went quiet from 1 p.m. to about 3:17 p.m. when it crashed into the ocean.

No evidence of the downed plane has been found in the ocean yet, with both a Coast Guard helicopter and an 87-foot cutter used in the search.

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