An aircraft crashed into the Gulf of Mexico after circling in an "unresponsive" flight pattern for a while Thursday morning. It is believed that there was only one person on board -- a piliot who was apparently unconsious.
Earlier, the Air Force had scrambled two F-15 fighters to intercept and monitor the flight path of the plane circling over the Gulf of Mexico.
Contact was lost with the pilot of the Cessna, which had been tracked on radar. Officials believe the plane, which has not been identified, had less than four hours of fuel left when the jets intercepted it.
The plane took off from Slidell, La., and was en route to Sarasota, Fla., according to a flight plan. Somewhere between the two points, it began flying in circles.
The FAA lost radio contact with the Cessna 412 before 9 a.m. ET. It was circling at approximately 28,000 feet. If it took off fully loaded, it will run out of fuel at 12:30 p.m. ET.
Officials at NORAD confirmed that the air defense agency launched two F-15 fighter aircraft to intercept the general aircraft over the Gulf of Mexico.
NORAD spokesman John Cornelio said the fighter jets made contact visual with the aircraft over the Gulf around 8:45am. They are monitoring the situation providing overhead cover.
"We are monitoring the flight pattern and the aircraft remains unresponsive," said Cornelio.
In addition to the Air Force F-15s, the Coast Guard has dispatched an HC-144 ocean sentry airplane from Mobile, Ala. An NH-60 Helicopter was on stand by in Clearwater, Fla. The Coast Guard Cutter Coho is en route.
The Coast Guard has issued a safety net urging mariners to keep a lookout for the plane.