Florida businessman says ‘whole family’ was on Crashte

Akash Arjun

Global Courant

Photo illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Getty

A Florida businessman and prominent political donor identified himself as the owner of a Cessna airliner that caused panic when it flew into restricted U.S. airspace over Washington, D.C., Sunday — before crashing in the Virginia wilderness, according to a report.

The plane, which authorities said was piloted by a person who lost consciousness, sparked a chase with Pentagon planes. sonic boom heard in the DC area, officials said.

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Virginia state police tell The Daily Beast that they were unable to locate any survivors at the crash site.

According to federal aviation records, the plane was registered to Encore Motors of Melbourne, a Florida-based company owned by John and Barbara Rumpel, though neither was on board at the time of the crash.

In brief interview with the Washington PostJohn Rumpel confirmed he owned Encore and said his “entire family” was on the plane at the time, including his daughter, a grandchild and her nanny.

“We don’t know anything about the crash,” he said. “We are now in talks with the FAA. … I have to keep the line clear.

When reached by The Daily Beast, Barbara Rumpel, who is listed as the president of Encore Motors in Melbourne, declined to comment.

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Both Barbara and her husband, prominent Florida businessmen, have donated to a hodgepodge of Republican candidates for federal office in recent years, including hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations to former President Donald Trump and his political organization, according to the Election Commission’s Federal Records viewed by The Daily Beast.

The pair donated $250,000 together to the Trump Victory PAC in 2020 alone. Then, just two years later, Barbara made a number of donations to controversial candidates, including $2,900 to Georgia Senate hopeful Herschel Walker and $500 to Laura Loomer, a far-right influencer known for being a Florida congressional candidate. making anti-Muslim statements.

Barbara also has direct ties to the Trump administration. She was listed as co-chair of a gun rights campaign organization that supported the former president’s 2016 campaign called the “Second Amendment Coalition for Trump-Pence.”

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A longtime member of the National Rifle Committee, Barbara has also served on the NRA’s Women’s Leadership Council since 2002 and served on the executive committee for more than six years, according to her LinkedIn profile.

The married couple their commercial real estate portfolio to a trust that benefits the organization, according to a statement they posted on the NRA website.

“We want to leave a legacy that will help preserve this country as we know it and as it was meant to be,” Barbara wrote at the time.

The flight began on Sunday as the plane, a Cessna Citation, took off for a flight from Tennessee to Long Island, New York, the FAA said in a statement to The Daily Beast.

The flight drew no attention until it entered restricted airspace near the U.S. Capitol, prompting a swift response from the Pentagon. At least one F-16 was scrambled and soon went supersonic, causing the boom to shock residents across the region.

“The civilian aircraft was intercepted at approximately 3:20 p.m.,” the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said shortly after the incident.

One of the Pentagon pilots saw the Cessna’s operator “pass out,” a U.S. official told ABC News — a story later corroborated by both the U.S. Capitol Police and NORAD.

Shortly after it was intercepted, the plane crashed in the Virginia wilderness.

It remains unclear what caused the pilot to lose consciousness. Both the FAA and NTSB are investigating the crash.

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Florida businessman says ‘whole family’ was on Crashte

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