Who is John Rumpel? Prominent political donor’s ‘entire family’ reportedly killed in Virginia plane crash
John Rumpel, a Florida businessman and prominent MAGA donor, identified himself as the owner of a Cessna passenger aircraft that crashed into Virginia Woods on June 4, 2023. He told the Washington Post that his "entire family" was on the plane at the time of the crash. The plane that took off from Tennessee on Sunday was reportedly carrying his daughter, his two-year-old grandchild and her nanny.
Authorities confirmed that the Cessna aircraft was registered to Encore Motors of Melbourne, Florida, owned by John and his wife, Barbara Rumpel. They also noted that they were unable to locate any survivors at the crash scene.
On Sunday, June 4, 2023, a Cessna aircraft bound for Long Island MacArthur Airport in New York prompted an aerial chase with Pentagon jets when the plane with an unresponsive pilot and passengers on board crossed into protected U.S. airspace over Washington, D.C.
Officials said that the ensuing chase caused a sonic boom that was heard across the Washington D.C. area as the Pentagon jets went supersonic to catch up with the out-of-control plane flying in the restricted airspace.
In a statement, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said that the jets intercepted the runaway plane at 3.20 pm on Sunday. They added:
“The NORAD aircraft were authorized to travel at supersonic speeds and a sonic boom may have been heard by residents of the region.”
Officials said that one of the jet pilots confirmed that the Cessna aircraft pilot had “passed out” during the chase. Shortly after, the plane reportedly crashed into mountainous terrain near the George Washington National Forest, Virginia, around 3:30 pm on Sunday.
Per Daily Beast, first responders who arrived at the scene immediately after the crash reportedly suspended their search on Sunday night after failing to find any survivors at the crash site.
John Rumpel and his wife Barbara have donated a combined $250,000 to the Donald Trump Victory PAC
On Sunday, in a brief statement to the Washington Post, John Rumpel, the owner of Encore Motors of Melbourne, Florida, said his family, including his daughter, grandchild and her nanny, were onboard the flight that crashed in Virginia forest. The private aircraft, which can carry up to 12 passengers reportedly had four people, including the pilot onboard at the time of the incident. He added:
“We know nothing about the crash. We are talking to the FAA now. … I’ve got to keep the line clear.”
In a Facebook post, Barabara Rumpel confirmed the death of her family, stating:
“My family is gone, my daughter and granddaughter."
However, officials have yet to confirm the deaths of the passengers onboard the crashed plane.
As per Florida Today, John Rumpel and his wife Barbara are prominent in Brevard County's business and social scene in Florida. According to Federal Election Commission, records cited in The Daily Beast, the couple who own Encore Motors of Melbourne, Florida, are prominent MAGA donors who have donated extensively to Donald Trump’s campaign. In 2020, the couple reportedly donated a combined $250,000 to the Trump Victory PAC.
John Rumpel’s wife, Barbara Rumpel, who is a member of the NRA Women's Leadership Forum in Florida, supported the former president’s 2016 presidential run. She also launched a firearm-rights campaign named “Second Amendment Coalition for Trump-Pence.”
Meanwhile, authorities said that they are investigating the circumstances that led to the deadly crash.