Two F-15s were scrambled by NORAD at 11:30 am this morning when an aircraft, identified as a single engine Socata TBM-700, stopped communicating with air traffic controller shortly after 10 am Eastern Time on Friday.
The aircraft is confirmed to belong to Buckingham Properties and the pilot has been identified as Larry Glazer, a developer in Rochester, New York.
The aircraft, determined to be a small business/utility aircraft, was enroute to Naples, Florida from Rochester, New York, due to arrive at its destination at approximately 12 pm. It had taken off from New York at approximately 8:30 am.
But, something went awry and the aircraft strayed from its intended flight path and ended up hundreds of miles off-course over the Atlantic Ocean.
Escorting F-15 pilots report that Glazer, the pilot of the aircraft, and one other, could be seen slumped over the controls and apparently unconscious. Officials are speculating that the occupants of the aircraft succumbed to hypoxia, commonly known as oxygen deprivation, as the aircraft was at a cruising altitude of about 25,000 feet.
The F-15s had to break off from escorting the aircraft when it entered in to Cuban airspace, but took up the escort after it left Cuban airspace. Cuban military aircraft were sent to intercept.
Once in Cuban airspace, military aircraft from that country were sent to intercept the errant aircraft.
U.S. fighter jets refueled and were at the ready as the aircraft began exiting Cuban airspace. After leaving Cuban airspace, Glazer’s aircraft approached the northeast shore of Jamaica before crashing into the sea.
Glazer, the CEO of Buckingham Properties and the president of TBM Owners and Pilots Association, took ownership of the upgraded turboprop aircraft just last week during its debut.