Unresponsive plane crashes off Jamaica
An unresponsive aircraft that was tracked by US fighter jets over the Atlantic Ocean has crashed off the island of Jamaica, officials said.
North American Aerospace Defense Command (Norad) scrambled F-15s to intercept the flight bound for Naples, Florida, from Rochester, New York at about 11.30am local time.
The jets were forced to break off as the unresponsive aircraft, a Socata TBM-700, continued south from Florida over Cuban airspace.
The aircraft was last tracked nearing the Jamaica, before local military officials confirmed it had crashed into the ocean north of the island.
The incident marks the second time in less than a week that a private pilot has become unresponsive during a flight.
On Saturday, a pilot lost consciousness and his plane drifted into restricted airspace over Washington DC. Fighter jets were launched in that case and stayed with the small aircraft until it ran out of fuel and crashed into the Atlantic.
Norad referred to the latest incident as a “possible hypoxia”, meaning a loss of oxygen inside the plane.
US media reports indicated that the F-15 pilots reported seeing two people slumped over inside the cockpit, and that the aircraft’s windows were frosted, which could be caused by the loss of oxygen.