|Flight path of the plane after leaving Rochester, New York|
A plane belonging to a New York state developer with (two) people aboard has crashed in the ocean north of Jamaica after flying unresponsive for hours and being escorted by U.S. fighter jets, according to federal officials.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command scrambled two F-15 fighter jets at 11:30 a.m. to intercept the Socata TBM-900 headed from Rochester, N.Y., to Naples, Fla.
|Photo of the Socata TBM-700 light business and utility aircraft that became unresponsive over Cuba and ultimately crashed off the coast of Jamaica on Friday, September 5, 2014.|
Military pilots weren’t able to communicate with the plane’s occupants, but saw that the plane’s windows were frosted, according to Army Maj. Beth Smith, a NORAD spokeswoman.
The single-engine turbo-prop is registered to Rochester developer Larry Glazer. Attempts to reach Glazer, who has development projects in Naples, on his cellphone were unsuccessful. A voicemail left on his phone was not immediately returned
Joseph Rowley Jr., director of leasing and marketing at Buckingham Properties, which is owned by Glazer, declined to comment. The company closed early Friday.
A woman answering the phone at QCI Direct, a catalog company owned by Glazer’s wife, Jane Glazer, at 2:15 p.m. said the company was not making any public statements.
Moments later, a voice recording at QCI said the company was closed.
The plane took off at 8:26 a.m. and was scheduled to land in Naples about noon, according to FlightAware.com, a flight-tracking service. As the plane entered Cuban airspace, the U.S. jets broke off their pursuit, according to NORAD.
The military routinely responds to unknown aviation activity, with heightened security after the terrorist attacks Sept. 11, 2001. But the incidents are often accidents rather than terrorist incidents.
Two F-16 fighter jets followed a general-aviation plane Monday that had taken off from Waukesha Airport in Wisconsin and was on its way to Manassas Airport in Virginia, before it crashed in the Atlantic.
Plane occupants occasionally die of hypoxia for lack of oxygen at higher altitudes.
A prominent example was golfer Payne Stewart, who died in October 1999 as a passenger in a Learjet that lost cabin pressure on a flight from Florida to Texas. Tracked by an F-16, the jet coasted for hours until crashing in South Dakota.
Contributing: Andreatta also reports for the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.