A small aircraft from Rochester, NY to Naples, FL is being escorted by F-15 fighter jets after going unresponsive. pic.twitter.com/ugtKG6mIIx
— Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) September 5, 2014
The plane has crashed in Jamaica.
An American registered, Socata TBM light-aircraft that flew through Cuban airspace, has crashed in Jamaica. The plane took off from Rochester, New York, this morning and was headed for Naples, Florida.
The plane has been unresponsive since 10 a.m. and over Jamaican airspace, according to NBC News.
It is owned by a Larry Glazer of Rochester, New York. He’s the chairman of the TBM Owners and Pilots Association. WROC reports that both Larry and his wife, Jane Glazer, were on board the plane.
There is a debate as to whether the aircraft in question was a Socata TBM 700, 750 or 900, Glazer owns a 700 and 900.
According to a March news release, Glazer recently became one of the first customers to take delivery of a TBM-900:
DAHER-SOCATA has delivered the first three production versions of the newest member in its TBM family of very fast, single-engine turboprop business aircraft: the TBM 900. …
One of the TBM 900’s first customers is Larry Glazer, who also is chairman of the TBM Owners and Pilot Association (TBMOPA). “Our organization appreciates its excellent relationship with DAHER-SOCATA – which has been responsive to our requests and continued willingness to go the extra mile – or should I say kilometer – to make the customers happy,” Glazer said at the delivery ceremony. “The new TBM 900 is aligned with this commitment, and has everything a customer could expect. It incorporates an all-glass cockpit, cruises faster, climbs faster, is quieter, better looking and just plain sexier.”
According to CBS News, responding fighter pilots saw the someone “slumped over” in the cockpit.
The flight plan for the aircraft took it from Naples, Florida, to Rochester, New York. The F-15s picked up the chase for the plane on the other side of Cuba, the planes had to return to base to refuel, and were not tracking it when it crashed.
See the official press release from NORAD below:
Socata TBM light-aircraft are among the most expensive private planes on the market with prices starting at $3.1 million for the most basic models.
A Wikipedia article on Cuba’s airspace says that “foreign aircraft are prohibited from entering or encroaching Cuban airspace including disputed international water zones except when permission has been explicitly given by the Cuban Government.” In 1996, two U.S. registered planes were shot down by the Cuban air force.