Search continues for private aircraft carrying US couple which crashed off Jamaica


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The Independent US

A search-and-rescue operation resumed at first light yesterday off Jamaica's north-east coast as crews hoped to solve the mystery of a small private aircraft which crashed into the Atlantic after the pilot collapsed at the controls.

The Jamaica Defence Force said a military jet had spotted wreckage on Friday evening, 24 miles from the coastal town of Port Antonio, but that it was too early to determine whether it was from the missing aircraft. A US Coast Guard cutter and a helicopter crew are helping in the search.

The single-engine turboprop was carrying Laurence Glazer, a property developer from New York state, and his entrepreneur wife, Jane. On Friday, US fighter pilots shadowing the unresponsive aircraft had seen the pilot slumped over and the windows frosting over.

The plane's pilot had indicated there was a problem and twice asked to descend to a lower altitude before permission was granted by an air traffic controller, according to a recording of the radio conversation. Radio contact with the aircraft was lost a short time later.

John Goglia, an aviation expert, said cases such as this are unusual, but that pilots can black out if the cabin pressure falls below a certain level. Rick Glazer said he could not confirm that his parents had been killed, adding that "we know so little".