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Search continues for plane off Port Antonio

SHERRYLYN CLARKE, [email protected]

Search continues for plane off Port Antonio

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) – Shadowed by two United States fighter jets, a small plane with its windows frosted and its pilot slumped over flew a ghostly 1 700-mile journey down the Atlantic Coast and beyond yesterday before finally crashing in the waters off Jamaica.

Earlier, the plane’s pilot had indicated there was a problem and twice asked to descend to a lower altitude before permission was granted by an air traffic controller, according to a recording of the radio conversation. Radio contact with the plane was lost a short time later.

The plane carrying a prominent real estate developer from Rochester, New York and his wife went down about 14 miles (22 kilometres) northeast of the coastal town of Port Antonio and Jamaica’s military dispatched two aircraft and a dive team, said Major Basil Jarrett of the Jamaican Defence Force.

“An oil slick indicating where the aircraft may have gone down has been spotted in the area where we suspect the crash took place,” Jarrett said at an early evening news conference in the capital of Kingston.

No wreckage has been located, but Jarrett said search-and-rescue teams were scouring the waters for any survivors. As dark fell, Jamaica suspended the search until first light today. A U.S. Coast Guard cutter is expected to join the search at that time, said Petty Officer Sabrina Laberdesque.

The single-engine turboprop Socata TBM700, which took off from the Greater Rochester International Airport in New York en route to Naples, Florida, was carrying Larry and Jane Glazer, the couple’s son said.

Rick Glazer said his parents were both licensed pilots. He said he couldn’t confirm they were killed, adding that “we know so little”.

Larry Glazer ran the development firm Buckingham Properties. He owned the plane he was flying and was president of the TBM Owners and Pilots Association. He was active in Rochester civic affairs.