It would appear pilot incapacitation was behind the fatal crash of a Cessna Citation in the Atlantic 300 miles east of Fort Lauderdale on May 24. The aircraft inexplicably changed course while on a delivery flight from Alton, Illinois, to Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport. The preliminary report from the NTSB says that as the Citation headed over the ocean, two Air Force F-15s were dispatched to intercept it and they discovered the pilot, Gonzalez Mejia, slumped over the controls and apparently unconscious. They watched helplessly as the plane ran out of fuel and dropped into the water. Neither the aircraft nor the pilot was found.
Mejia had been contracted to fly the plane to its new owner in Fort Lauderdale. He had more than 9,000 hours. Officials are looking into his medical history but without his body or the aircraft it’s unlikely a precise cause will be determined. The final report will take about 18 months.