An Unresponsive "Ghost Plane" Left New York, Went Quiet, And Crashed In Jamaica
2014 continues to be a bad year for air travel. A small, unresponsive aircraft from New York mysteriously crashed near Jamaica on Friday after being unresponsive for hours. The plane was mid-flight from Rochester, New York, to Naples, Florida when it stopped responding to radio calls. Two U.S. military fighter jets that were sent to track and communicate with the small turboprop plane observed frost on the windows and the pilot slumped over, which could indicate that the passengers had lost consciousness somehow.
According to the New York Daily News, real estate developer Larry Glazer and his wife, Jane, were aboard the flight, as confirmed by Glazer's family. The single-engine aircraft was registered to Glazer, who owns Buckingham Properties in Rochester, New York. It has yet to be confirmed whether there was a third passenger on the flight.
Before investigations produce official reports, experts at the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), who had dispatched the military jets, speculated that the pilot and passenger could have suffered hypoxia, a condition that occurs when the body is deprived of adequate oxygen. The lack of oxygen could have been a result of a drop in cabin pressure, which also causes a drastic drop in temperature — hence the frost on the windows.
Timeline of the Mysterious Crash
8:45 a.m. — The Socata TBM700 airplane leaves the Greater Rochester International Airport, bound for Naples, Florida.
10 a.m. — This is the last time air traffic controllers were able to contact the plane, according to a statement from the Federal Aviation Administration.
10:45 a.m. — The Air Force and TSA informed Rochester airport officials about the plane.
11:30 a.m. — NORAD dispatches two U.S. fighter jets to monitor the plane and attempt communication. The jets were forced to break off when the aircraft started entering Cuban airspace.
2:11 p.m. — Aviation tracking website FlightAware shows the plane over the Caribbean, south of Cuba, the plane's last known radar contact.
2:15 p.m. — The FAA confirms that the plane had crashed into the Caribbean ocean about 14 miles northeast of Port Antonio, Jamaica. The U.S. has sent a Coast Guard C-130 aircraft to look for the plane's wreckage and investigate.