Plane Crashes Into Gulf of Mexico After Pilot Loses Consciousness
by Victor Chen
A pilot lost consciousness while flying a twin-engine airplane over the Gulf of Mexico today, leading to its crash 135 miles off shore.
There were no passengers aboard the aircraft.
The FAA lost contact with the Cessna 421 prior to 9:00 am EST. NORAD confirmed in a press release that two F-16 fighters were dispatched to intercept the plane at around 9:30 am.
“The Cessna 421 departed Slidell, La., en route to Sarasota, Fla. and began flying erratically over the Gulf of Mexico. Upon intercepting the aircraft, the F-15 pilots reported the pilot was unresponsive. The NORAD fighters remained on station and monitored the aircraft until it crashed in the Gulf of Mexico at approximately 12:15 p.m. EDT.”
The plane, tail number N48DL, had a planned flight path of 485 miles. Around when it lost contact with the FAA, the plane began to nosedive. It then started to loop in near-circles, gaining and dropping in altitude, with headwind and tailwind likely alternating its speed. It ended up traveling 1206 miles.
It is unknown as to why the pilot was unconscious.
The US Coast Guard is currently conducting a search and rescue operation in the area.