Reports recently obtained have indicated that a private plane carrying a prominent American businessman and his entrepreneur wife has crashed off the coast of the Caribbean island of Jamaica on Friday.
According to Jamaican authorities, the plane, which was traveling from New York to Florida crashed about fourteen miles north east of the island. The plane was carrying upstate real estate developer and businessman, Laurence Glazer and his wife, Jane. The authorities add that the plane was originally unresponsive to ground controllers which resulted in the pilot, who is believed to have been incapacitated, to take the couple on a 1 700 mile, unplanned journey. The United States fighter jets which shadowed the aircraft after it was unresponsive report noticing the pilot slumped over in his seat and the windows frosted over.
Apparently, the pilot, who has not been named, lodged a flight plan with the Federal Aviation Administration to fly from Rochester to Naples in Florida. The plane is said to have taken off from the Greater Rochester International Airport, New York at 8:45 am local time and was last heard from at 10:00 am. At 11:30 am, F15 fighter jets were scrambled and tailed the plane until it reached Cuban airspace when they withdrew.
Commenting on the accident, the couple’s son said that even though the accident has been confirmed, they could not, as a family, confirm that their parents had been deceased. This is, however, despite numerous statements made by public officials expressing their condolences for the loss of this influential couple in the business world. Early, unconfirmed reports indicate that there were three people on the plane.
The Jamaican authorities confirmed sending a rescue team to the site of the crash, which was marked only by an oil slick as the wreckage had not yet been sighted. While coast guard spokesman, Petty Officer Jon-Paul Rios admitted that none of the search and resue teams had found anything, he told the media that a US C130 aircraft was flying over the crash site and a US Coast Guard Cutter was on the way to the crash site to help search the ocean for survivors.
This is the second incident of a pilot becoming unresponsive during a flight. Last week, a pilot also failed to respond to ground controllers because he had lost consciousness resulting in that fighter jets were dispatched and stayed with the aircraft until it ran out of fuel and crashed into the Atlantic.