F-15s Follow Unresponsive TBM Over Atlantic

NORAD reports the pilot was seen slumped over in his seat at 25,000 feet.

TBM 900 Flight Tracking

TBM 900 Flight Tracking

FlightAware's path of the TBM

An unresponsive TBM 900 turboprop on a flight plan Friday from Rochester, New York, to Naples, Florida, triggered the North American Aerospace Defense Command to launch two F-15s in pursuit of the airplane after the pilot failed to respond to communications from air traffic control.

Instead of making a turn toward the eastern coast of Florida, the airplane's flight path shown on FlightAware.com depicts it venturing out over the Atlantic. NORAD reported that the F-15 pilots found the airplane’s windows fogged over and what looked to be the pilot slumped over in his seat.

The F-15s stopped escorting the airplane, which was flying at 25,000 feet, as it began to fly over Cuban airspace, but resumed after it had passed back into international territory. The airplane later crashed in the waters north of Jamaica. Authorities say there were passengers on board, although the official number could not be confirmed.

TBM 900 at Sun 'n Fun 2014 (Photo: Jim Koepnick)|

The TBM 900, identified as N900KN, is a pressurized turboprop that has a service ceiling of 31,000 feet. The airplane was registered to Larry Glazer, who owns Buckingham Properties in Rochester.

This is the second time in less than a week that NORAD has launched fighters in response to an unresponsive GA airplane. On Saturday two F-16s were launched in pursuit of a Cirrus SR22 that flew into restricted airspace near Washington, D.C. The pilot of the SR22 was found unresponsive in the airplane, which was flying at 13,000 feet but later descended and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean.

_
_

Get exclusive online content like this delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for our free enewsletter.

We welcome your comments on flyingmag.com. In order to maintain a respectful environment, we ask that all comments be on-topic, respectful and spam-free. All comments made here are public and may be republished by Flying.