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US aeroplane crashes in Jamaica

A US plane with an unresponsive pilot has crashed in the ocean, a spokesman for the Jamaican military says.

The plane went down about 14 miles north east of Port Antonio, according to the Jamaican Defence Force.

The military has sent aircraft to investigate. There is no immediate information about the people on board.

The plane took off at 8.45am local time from the Greater Rochester International Airport in New York, according to officials.

Air traffic controllers were last able to contact the pilot of the Socata TBM700, a high performance single-engine turboprop, at 10am, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said in a statement.

The pilot, who was not identified, had filed a flight plan with the FAA to fly from Rochester to Naples, Florida. Fighter jets were scrambled at 11.30am local time and followed the plane until it reached Cuban airspace, when they peeled off, said Preston Schlachter, a spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defence Command & US Northern Command.

FlightAware, an aviation tracking website, showed the plane over the Caribbean south of Cuba at about 2pm local time.

FlightAware identified the plane's tail number as N900KN. FAA records show the plane is owned by a company based at the same address as a property firm in Rochester. The firm, Buckingham Properties, is owned by developer Larry Glazer, who also is president of the TBM Owners and Pilots Association.

Mr Glazer's son, Rick Glazer, said: "I don't have any comment about what's going on at this time."

According to Buckingham's website, "Larry spends some of his spare time on the ground - gardening around his house with his wife, Jane; and some in the sky - flying his plane".

The Air Force and Transportation Security Administration contacted Rochester airport officials about the plane at about 10.45am, according to Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks. The airport referred all inquiries to the FAA.

The incident marks the second time in less than a week that private pilot has become unresponsive during a flight.

On Saturday, a pilot lost consciousness and his plane drifted into restricted airspace over the nation's capital. Fighter jets were also launched in that case and stayed with the small aircraft until it ran out of fuel and crashed into the Atlantic.

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