New York CEO and wife killed in crash off Jamaica after plane loses contact with air traffic control

New York CEO and wife killed in crash off Jamaica after plane loses contact with air traffic control

New York CEO and wife killed in crash off Jamaica after plane loses contact with air traffic control - American World News

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A turboprop carrying a New York real estate executive and his wife lost contact with U.S. air controllers and crashed into the Caribbean Sea near Jamaica hours after flying past a planned landing in Florida.

The U.S. and Jamaica sent ships to the site off the island nation’s north shore, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said Friday. A former FAA accident investigator said the extended flight, long radio silence and fogged cockpit windows on the aircraft were consistent with a loss of cabin pressure.

On board the single-engine plane were Buckingham Properties LLC Chief Executive Officer Laurence “Larry” Glazer and his wife, Jane, of Rochester, New York, the couple’s children confirmed in a statement. The flight originated in Rochester and was bound for Naples, Florida.

The crash ended a high-altitude drama that included U.S. fighter jets being rushed aloft to trail the plane when authorities couldn’t get the pilot to respond. A pair of F-15s had to break off the pursuit as the aircraft left U.S. airspace and strayed over Cuba before coming down at sea about 23 kilometres from Jamaica.

“We are devastated by the tragic and sudden loss of our parents,” Mindy, Rick and Ken Glazer said in the statement. “They loved and appreciated the opportunity to help build the community of Rochester, and we thank everyone in the community for their expressions of support.”

Rick Glazer said that his parents were both licensed pilots.

Numerous New York politicians issued statements of condolence praising the Glazers’ contribution to their community.

“The City of Rochester has lost two heroes,” Rochester Mayor Lovely A. Warren said in a statement. “Larry worked hard to return a sense of vitality and excitement to our Center City. His efforts helped to lift our spirits and restore our sense of optimism. He has been a treasured friend and partner.”

The City of Rochester has lost two heroes

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo called the couple “innovative and generous people who were committed to revitalizing downtown Rochester and making the city they loved a better place for all.”

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Robert Duffy, Lieutenant Governor of New York State, called the plane crash “a crushing blow.”

“It’s a very, very sad thing,” said Rich LeFrois, a local developer who is an investment partner of Larry Glazer’s. “He was probably one of the most experienced and safest pilots I ever flew with.”

Radar tracking showed the Socata TBM700 descending near Port Antonio, Jamaica, at about 2:15 p.m. New York time, the FAA said. Greater Rochester International Airport said the plane departed at 8:45 a.m.

The Socata was flying earlier at 7,600 metres. A typical person exposed to the thin air at that height would have three to five minutes before becoming incapacitated by the lack of oxygen, according to an FAA guide on medical issues for pilots.

Fogged windows on the unresponsive aircraft prevented the military pilots from seeing into the Socata’s cockpit, said Preston Schlachter, a spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command. The pilot hadn’t answered radio calls since 10 a.m., according to NORAD.

A loss of cabin pressure is certain to be among the areas probed by authorities, according to Steve Wallace, the former chief of the FAA’s accident investigation branch. The obscured windscreen is one of the indications of pressure loss, he said.

“The problem is the insidious undetected loss of cabin pressure where it just creeps up and pilots doze off before they realize what’s happening,” Wallace said.

Wikipedia

Larry Glazer flew frequently between upstate New York and Florida, according to Steve Scruggs, president of the Lakeland Economic Development Council in Florida. Glazer purchased at least four or five properties in the area, primarily office and industrial properties, at least since the mid to late 2000s, Scruggs said.

“Larry flies back and forth here a lot, because of his real estate investments and he has a home in Naples,” Scruggs said. “That’s where he was headed.”

A phone call to the offices of Rochester-based Buckingham Properties went to voice mail. The real estate development and management company oversees 60 properties comprising more than 10 million square feet, according to its website. Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks in Rochester was briefing local reporters on the Glazers’ deaths today.

Glazer was very concerned about safety and had just returned from a week of pilot training, said LeFrois, the developer. While Glazer had only recently acquired the Socata, he was an experienced pilot who had been flying “for 20-plus years,” LeFrois said.

According to Buckingham’s website, “Larry spends some of his spare time on the ground — gardening around his house with his wife, Jane; and some in the sky — flying his plane.”

NORAD dispatches jets to investigate situations in which pilots may lose contact with controllers, as occurred in 2009 when a Delta Air Lines Inc. crew overshot the Minneapolis airport on a flight from San Diego.

The initial response today was from two F-16s launched from McEntire Joint National Guard Base in Richland County, South Carolina, to investigate, according to a NORAD statement. They handed off monitoring duties to the F-15s from Homestead Air Reserve Base in Florida, NORAD said.

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Oxygen starvation, known as hypoxia, may be difficult for pilots to recognize, according to the FAA. “One noteworthy attribute of the onset of hypoxia is that the first symptoms are euphoria and a carefree feeling,” the agency said in the guide.

It can cause impaired judgment, slower reaction times and eventual loss of consciousness, according to the agency.

Hypoxia has been cited in dozens of aircraft accidents, according to National Transportation Safety Board records. The NTSB listed hypoxia among the causes of an Aug. 24, 2012, crash in Milner, Colorado, that killed a pilot. The student pilot, who had flown as high as 18,000 feet, also tested positive for alcohol and marijuana in his system, according to the NTSB.

A small plane that flew over Washington’s restricted airspace on Aug. 30 after the pilot became unresponsive flew east over the Atlantic Ocean, where it crashed.

Golfer Payne Stewart and five others died in an Oct. 25, 1999, Learjet crash after oxygen flow to the cabin was cut off by a closed cabin-pressure control valve. The NTSB couldn’t determine why the valve was found closed, and concluded the crew was unable to activate emergency oxygen before being overcome by the loss of cabin pressure.

The plane left Orlando, Florida, en route to Dallas, and veered off track before crashing near Aberdeen, South Dakota, when it ran out of fuel.

With files from National Post Staff, The Associated Press

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