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Small plane with unresponsive pilot goes down near Jamaica

Sept. 5, 2014, Kingston, Jamaica - A private U.S. single-engine plane that flew for hours with an unresponsive pilot crashed north of Jamaica after crossing over Cuba, a Jamaican military official said.


September 5, 2014
By CBC News

The Socata TBM-700 light business and utility aircraft had departed
Rochester, N.Y., at 8:30 a.m. ET and was supposed to land in Naples,
Fla., shortly after 2 p.m. ET., according to its filed flight plan.

However, the plane’s occupants did not respond to attempts to
communicate, and the single-engine turboprop instead was spotted
southeast of Florida, Norad said. Air traffic controllers were last able
to contact the pilot at 10 a.m., the Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) said in a statement.

 

Two U.S. air force F-15 fighter jets had been following the plane,
but ended the chase after the private plane entered Cuban airspace and
continued south in a straight line, according to Norad (North
American Aerospace Defence Command).

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Earlier, Norad cited in its Twitter feed "possible hypoxia" as the
reason the pilot was unresponsive. Hypoxia is a condition in which the
body is deprived of adequate oxygen.

 

"The pilot could have become ill. He could have had a heart attack.
He could have passed away in flight, Arthur Rosenberg, an American pilot
and aviation attorney, told CBC News.

 

The TBM-700 can seat up to seven people, but it's not known how many
people are on board. There are media reports of three people on board
when the aircraft went down 22 kilometres northeast of Port Antonio, off
eastern Jamaica.

 

FlightAware.com identified the plane's tail number as N900KN. FAA
records show that plane is owned by a company based at the same address
as a real estate firm in Rochester. The firm, Buckingham Properties, is
owned by developer Larry Glazer, who also is president of the TBM Owners
and Pilots Association.