Fighter pilots watch single-engine plane crash into ocean off Va. coast

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PORTSMOUTH, Va. --The Coast Guard was dispatched after a plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean about 51 miles southeast of Chincoteague Island Saturday afternoon.

The Coast Guard received notification around 2:40 p.m. that a single-engine Cessna plane that failed to land at Manassas Regional Airport.

The aircraft remained in flight and drifted into restricted airspace in the Washington, D.C. area.

Two F-16 fighter jets were sent to investigate. As they flew along side the Cessna, they spotted the pilot was unconscious in the cockpit.

As a result, the fighter jet pilots flew with the single-engine plane as it headed over the Eastern Shore, but officials said the plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean when it ran out of fuel.

The Coast Guard has sent crews on both a Jayhawk helicopter and a Hercules airplane to respond to the search and rescue efforts.

The NTSB is investigating the crash.

Stay with and CBS 6 News for updates on this developing story.