Unresponsive US plane crashes off Jamaica

Officials say small US plane with unresponsive pilot, bound for Florida from New York, went down in Jamaican waters.

    A small US plane with an unresponsive pilot has crashed in Jamaican waters, authorities on the island said.

    The civil aviation authority said search and rescue teams were heading to the location where the plane went down on Friday, 23km north of Port Antonio, off the coast of eastern Jamaica. 

    Earlier, US air traffic controllers tracked the plane off the Florida coast, apparently headed towards Cuba.

    The single-engine, seven-seater plane, which left from New York state and was Florida-bound, was flying at an altitude of 25,000 feet (7,620 metres) southbound over the Atlantic Ocean, according to a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

    It was trailed by two F-15 fighter jets, according to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). The jets broke off after the plane entered Cuban airspace.

    "The pilot has not been responding to radio calls since 10 am EDT," the FAA said.

    CNN reported that the F-15 pilots who were tracking the aircraft could see the pilot slumped over before the plane's windows frosted over.

    US officials said they did not know how many people were on board the plane.

    The flight departed from Greater Rochester International Airport in New York on Friday morning and was headed to Naples Municipal Airport in Florida, the FAA added.

    The plane was identified as a Socata TBM700, a small private plane.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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