The Federal Aviation Administration said preliminary information indicates only the pilot was aboard the Cessna Citation V, which flew out of St. Louis Regional Airport in East Alton Illinois about 1:35 p.m. Friday and was destined for Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport.
The condition of the pilot is unclear, but the FAA said U.S. Air Force F-15 fighter jets from the Florida Air National Guard intercepted, or spotted the aircraft and flew alongside it, before it went down. The Florida Air National Guard is based at Homestead Air Reserve Base.
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The aircraft was out of communication with air traffic controllers for more than one hour before it crashed, the FAA said in a statement. FAA air traffic controllers tracked the flight on radar during that time.
“Now we’re worried about him sleeping because last night in the room, we put him by himself down, he wouldn’t let us put him down,” Marlon said. “He's startled, every little five minutes, he’s started.”
The FAA referred a reporters questions about the pilots condition to the U.S. Coast Guard. A spokesman for the Coast Guards southeast district said crews were responding to a call of a downed aircraft but did not disclose further details.
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) – A small plane that was heading to Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport from the Midwest has crashed off the coast of South Florida.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the 2001 twin-engine Cessna Citation 560 had taken off from St. Louis Regional Airport, Friday afternoon.
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Officials said the pilots of two F-15 fighter jets from the Florida Air National Guard witnessed the crash.
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Officials said the pilot was only one on board. They said he was unable to reach air traffic control for more than an hour.
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During that time, the Federal Aviation Administration tracked the flight on radar before the plane crashed.