Search resumes for missing plane
KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) – A search-and-rescue operation resumed at first light today off Jamaica’s northeast coast as crews hope to solve the mystery of a small private plane carrying a prominent upstate New York couple who were taken on a ghostly 1 700-mile journey after the pilot was apparently incapacitated at the controls.
Major Basil Jarrett of the Jamaica Defence Force said early today that possible wreckage of the high-performance plane was spotted yesterday evening by a military aircraft flying off the island’s northeast coast.
He said military personnel were trying to recover the floating debris roughly 24 miles (38 kilometres) off the coastal town of Port Antonio and it was too early to determine whether it was indeed wreckage from the plane.
“However, the debris appears consistent with the missing aircraft, and this has been corroborated by the United States Coast Guard,” Jarrett said early today. “The recovery effort is currently under way.”
The single-engine turboprop Socata TBM700 was carrying Rochester real estate developer Laurence Glazer and his entrepreneur wife, Jane – both experienced pilots.
Yesterday, U.S. fighter pilots were launched to shadow the unresponsive aircraft observed the pilot slumped over and its windows frosting over. Officials say the plane slammed into the sea at least 14 miles (22 kilometres) off Jamaica’s northeast coastline.
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.