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Turboprop Plane With Unresponsive Pilot Crashes Off Jamaican Coast

NORAD <a href="https://twitter.com/NoradNorthcom/status/507937429379371008">identified</a> the plane that crashed off the coast of Jamaica, after flying for several hours with an unresponsive pilot at the helm, as a Socata TBM-700, similar to this one.
Wikimedia Commons
NORAD identified the plane that crashed off the coast of Jamaica, after flying for several hours with an unresponsive pilot at the helm, as a Socata TBM-700, similar to this one.

A single-engine aircraft, with an unresponsive pilot at the controls, crashed off the coast of Jamaica on Friday afternoon.

The private U.S. plane, a high-performance single-engine turboprop, left the Greater Rochester International Airport in Rochester, N.Y., at 8:45 a.m. EDT, reports The Associated Press. It was headed for Naples, Fla. Air traffic controllers lost contact with the pilot at 10 a.m. EDT, according to the FAA.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command scrambled two fighter jets, which escorted the unresponsive aircraft for a portion of its flight. When the plane entered Cuban airspace, the jets stopped following.

A flight tracker shows the plane crossed over eastern Cuba. It ultimately crashed in the Atlantic Ocean, 14 miles northeast of Jamaica's Port Antonio, the AP reports.

In a similar incident this past weekend, a single-engine prop plane with an unresponsive pilot crossed into restricted airspace over Washington, D.C., was intercepted by fighter jets and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean.

Update at 7:30 p.m. ET. Oil Slick Sighted:

Rescuers have found an oil slick but not any wreckage yet, a Jamaican military spokesman says, according to The Associated Press. NORAD says the U.S. Coast Guard has "initiated a search and rescue mission in the region."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Camila Flamiano Domonoske covers cars, energy and the future of mobility for NPR's Business Desk.
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