Unresponsive US plane crashes off coast of Jamaica

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A private plane that was unresponsive over the Atlantic Ocean crashed off the coast of Jamaica on Friday. (KABC)

A private plane that was unresponsive over the Atlantic Ocean crashed off the coast of Jamaica on Friday.

Jamaican rescuers said an oil slick was found in the waters where the plane was believed to have crashed. So far, there has been no sign of a wreckage, Jamaican military spokesman Maj. Basil Jarrett said. Search and rescue teams continued to scour the waters for possible survivors.

According to North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), the single-engine, turboprop aircraft was flying from Rochester, New York, to Naples, Florida, when the occupants failed to respond to attempts to communicate.

The Socata TBM700 took off at 8:45 a.m. ET from the Greater Rochester International Airport in New York. Officials say they were last able to contact the pilot at 10 a.m. ET. Air traffic controllers asked the pilot if he wanted to declare an emergency, but he declined, sources confirmed to ABC News. Then, he stopped responding.

Two fighter jets were scrambled about an hour and a half later and followed the plane. A NORAD official said the F-15s spotted a pilot slumped over in the cockpit, with the windows frosted over shortly after. Even though the pilot was likely unconscious, the plane kept flying over the Bahamas, and then Cuba.

Officials said the plane crashed in the ocean 14 miles off the coast of Port Antonio around 2:15 p.m. ET.

Ken Glazer, the son of Larry and Jane Glazer of Rochester, New York, told ABC affiliate WHAM Friday afternoon that his parents were the only two people on board the plane.

Larry Glazer was CEO of Buckingham Properties, one of the leading real estate developers in Rochester, New York.

The Glazer's attorney spoke Friday on behalf of the grieving family.

"We hope everyone will have their thoughts and prayers with the Glazers during this difficult time and that people will be able to respect their privacy," said Michell Nusbaum.

The mayor of Rochester said the Glazers had been invaluable to the development of that city. He said flags there would fly at half-staff in their honor.

Some experts have indicated that this may be a case where the aircraft depressurized and the pilots lost consciousness.

ABC News and the Associated Press contributed to this report.


Related Topics:
plane crashjamaicanew yorku.s. & world
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