Aviation News

September 5, 2014

Private Aircraft Becomes Unresponsive Over US, Crashes Near Jamaica

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Written by: NYCAviation Staff
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A private aircraft that departed this morning from Greater Rochester International Airport in New York, intending to land in Naples, Florida, crashed off of the coast of Jamaica after becoming unresponsive to air traffic control.

The single propeller-engine Socata TBM900 aircraft, registered N900KN, was flying at 28,000ft at 10:00am when, according to ATC recordings, the pilot noticed something was wrong over North Carolina. The pilot told a controller at Atlanta Center, “We need to descend to about [18,000ft], we, uh, have an indication that’s not correct in the plane.”

“Indication,” often refers to an alert received in the cockpit from the aircraft to tell the pilot of a possible problem or change in the airplane’s operation.

Seven seconds later, the controller instructed the pilot to descend to 25,000ft, but the pilot insisted “…we need to get lower.”┬áThe controller was unable to let the aircraft descend further at that time due to other aircraft in the area. If there was something seriously wrong with the aircraft, the pilot did not make that clear to the controller, and did not declare an emergency at any time during the flight. After the pilot followed an instruction for a small change in direction from ATC, the controller gave another command to finally let the aircraft descend to 20,000ft, which the pilot did not reply to right away. When the controller radioed to confirm that the pilot heard, a brief, garbled transmission was returned, though it is unconfirmed that it was N900KN.

Further attempts by ATC to contact the pilot were unsuccessful.

The flight continued in a steady south-southeast direction at 25,000ft, and fighter jets were scrambled to escort the aircraft to the edge of United States airspace, where Cuban authorities took over after it entered their airspace. The flight continued further south, finally descending and crashing in the water less than 15 miles off the coast of Jamaica.

To listen to the ATC recording, click here, and fast forward to 4:00.

The specific aircraft was the first delivered aircraft of the TBM-900, and is owned by Larry Glazer, a CEO that resides in Rochester, N.Y., and happens to be the President of the TBM Owners & Pilots Association. It is yet unknown if he was the pilot, or even an occupant of the aircraft.

We will continue to update this story as it develops…



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