A private jet crashed in Virginia on Sunday after flying over restricted airspace in Washington, D.C. and prompting a response from the U.S. military. All three passengers and the pilot died. The plane was registered to a company owned by John and Barbara Rumpel, who were not on board.
Here’s what we know about the family.
In a statement to The New York Times, John Rumpel said his daughter, 2-year-old granddaughter, her nanny and the pilot were on the flight. In a since-deleted Facebook page that appeared to belong to his wife, she wrote: “My family is gone, my daughter and granddaughter.”
The plane was registered to Encore Motors, according to Flight Aware. John Rumpel owns Encore Motors, which bought the plane in April 2023, and Barbara is president. John is also a pilot, according to the New York Times.
The Rumpels also own an apartment building for senior living, which they named Victoria Landing after John’s late daughter. Victoria died in a scuba diving accident when she was just 19 years old, the Victoria’s Landing website reads.
John told The New York Times the plane was flying his family to their East Hampton, on Long Island, home after a visit to North Carolina, where he also has a residence.
The Cessna V Citation plane was unresponsive when it flew over restricted airspace of Washington on Sunday. Military fighter jets followed it until it left the area. The plane then crashed into a mountainous area in Virginia near George Washington State Forest. The F-16s fighter jets did not shoot the plane down, a U.S. official told CBS News.
The NTSB and FAA are investigating the crash and it is not yet known why the plane was unresponsive.
CBS News Aviation Safety Analyst Robert Sumwalt, former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, says signs point to a loss of oxygen due to the plane not pressurizing. This can lead to hypoxia, which causes everyone on board to lose consciousness. In this case, the pilot would have become incapacitated and the plane would likely fly on autopilot until it ran out of fuel and crashed.
Rumpel suggested to the Times that the plane could have lost pressurization and that it dropped 20,000 feet a minute, which is not survivable, he said.