KINGSTON, Jamaica, Jan 21, CMC – The Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA0 Wednesday said the bodies of two United States nationals as well as the wreckage of their plane had been found more than four months after the aircraft crashed in waters northeast of the island.
The single-engine, seven-seater plane, a Socata TBM700, flew for several hours at an altitude of 25,000 feet (7,620 meters) southbound down the Florida east coast and south over Cuba.
It was trailed by two F-15 fighter jets, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said, before the jets halted their escort when the plane entered Cuban airspace.
The plane, which had been reported to be unresponsive to air traffic control directions, while in flight from Rochester, New York, to Naples, Florida, later crashed off Jamaica’s northeast coast on September 5, killing Larry Glazer, a real-estate executive from Rochester in New York, and his wife, Jane.
“The aircraft was deemed to be proceeding without pilot control, when it disappeared into the sea approximately 19 miles north of Port Antonio, Jamaica, in about 3,000 metres of water, in the early afternoon,” according to the statement issued by the JCAA.
It said that despite an extensive search of the area the search was called off ”based on the assessment that there was a minimal probability for a successful rescue and/or recovery operation, under the existing conditions”.
The JCAA, which said that it had responsibility for the flight control region over which the aircraft was lost, said it collaborated with the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) and the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in the aftermath of the crash that the lead agency investigative responsibility was designated to the US NTSB.
“This arrangement is consistent with international practice, where the State of the occurrence can delegate investigative responsibility to another (involved) State. The family of the Glazers retained the services of the ECLIPSE Group, an experienced recovery organisation, to undertake the salvage of the aircraft and to search for the remains of their loved ones.”
The JCAA said with the cooperation and collaboration of the Jamaica government through the services of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ), the ECLIPSE Group mobilized a highly specialized, technical and sophisticated team, utilising the platform of the specially adapted ship, the MV OCEAN PIONEER.
“The salvage operation was conducted to identify and recover the remains and aircraft wreckage from the seabed, at a position 19 miles (nautical) north of Port Antonio, Jamaica. The operation commenced on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 with technologically-advanced, underwater detection and recovery equipment from the vessel MV OCEAN PIONEER.
“The debris from the aircraft along with human remains was recovered unto the OCEAN PIONEER, where the ECLIPSE Group team carried out post-recovery and preservation arrangements.”
The JCAA said that the MV OCEAN POWER has left for the United States “where the various authorities will observe the necessary post-incident protocols consistent with the national requirements of the USA”.