Jamaican authorities have found part of the fuselage of a high-altitude turbo-prop that crashed off the island’s coastline after it had been flying for hours on automatic pilot from the United States with the married couple aboard unconscious and likely dead from hypoxia.
Maj. Basil Jarrett of the Jamaican Defense Force told EFE on Friday (September 5) that, with the help of US forces, debris and fuel slicks from the turbo-prop had been found floating in the sea near the Jamaican tourist town of Port Antonio.
The small plane had taken off from Greater Rochester International Airport in New York State around 0930 hours local time on a flight to Naples, FL. US authorities were alarmed when it failed to land at the scheduled airport, but kept flying without its occupants answering calls to them by radio.
According to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the occupants were Larry and Jane Glazer, a prominent multimillionaire couple from Rochester in upstate New York.
The Glazer Family asked in a communiqué that they be allowed to mourn the tragedy in private.
COMMENT: Larry Glazer was the head of a real estate company and was an active member of Rochester, NY’s high society. Both are believed to have lost consciousness from a lack of oxygen, undoubtedly due to depressurization of the aircraft cabin.
Although the Glazers were wealthy to afford a seven-figure executive aircraft, it is believed that they never underwent training to fly at high altitudes (25,000+) so as to recognize depressurization of the aircraft cabin and the symptoms of hypoxia.
The crews of two American F-15 fighter jets who followed the turbo-prop saw the pilot slumped over unconscious and the windows frosted up, a sign that the cabin had been depressurized for hours while and had lost oxygen in mid-flight.
The Glazers aircraft was escorted by the US Air Force, except when it flew through Cuban air space. It finally crashed at sea some 14 miles (22 kilometers) off Jamaica’s northeast coast after it reportedly ran out of fuel.
This report will be updated as new information becomes available.