Fighter Jets Escorting Unresponsive Airplane Bound for Florida (UPDATE)

Categories: News


Update 3:
NORAD and the FAA confirm the plane crashed 14 miles off the coast of Port Antonio, Jamaica at about 2:15 p.m. Only the pilot and his wife were aboard the flight.

Update 2:
The AP is reporting that the plane has crashed in Jamaica. no longer shows the plane on their tracker. (AP corrected their earlier report: Jamaican officials say the plane crashed off the coast of the island, not on land.)

Meanwhile, NORAD says they're working with the FAA to get an official status on the plane.

Update 1: According to NORAD, the plane is now headed past Cuban airspace. The F-15 fighter jets, meanwhile, have returned to base for refueling.

Original post:
Two F-15 military fighter jets were escorting a small plane originally bound for Naples, Florida Friday after the plane went off course and the cabin would not respond to air traffic controllers.

According to the flight tracking website,, the plane kept flying past south of Florida over the Atlantic into Cuban airspace.

The plane, a Socata TBM-700 single-engine turboprop, was en route to Naples from Rochester, New York, with a scheduled arrival at 11:59 a.m., according to FlightAware.

But when the pilot became unresponsive, NORAD officials sent the two jets off at around 11:30 a.m. to attempt to communicate with the pilot.


Once the plane entered Cuban airspace, the U.S. military jets broke off pursuit.

However, NORAD continues to monitor the situation.

For the moment, NORAD is working on the theory of "possible hypoxia," which is a lack of oxygen in the cabin.

"The plane's occupants did not respond to attempts to communicate," NORAD said in a statement. "The aircraft continues to be followed by NORAD jets."

This post will be updated as more information comes in.

Send your story tips to the author, Chris Joseph.
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Darin Salerno
Darin Salerno

1. Case of hijack: Blow it up if negotiations fail and it looks like the plane is headed towards some target or major population center. 2. Case of suicide bomber: If it's not already blown up by the time they get there then it would be the same as #1. 3. Case of dead pilot/s: Blow it up if it looks to be headed on a collision course with a major population center. It's pretty simple. If any one of the 3 situations occurs, chances are most people on board are screwed anyway. So if negotiations fail on the first two cases, then yes, it is deemed a "necessary loss" by our wonderful government...

Alexis D. Guillen
Alexis D. Guillen

The escort is to have a plane in position should they need to shoot it down. Right now pilots are still unresponsive & plane is low on fuel. If they were on course to crash in an area that would escalate collateral damage, then it makes sense to shoot the plane down for the greater good.

Maria-Olga Mimikopoulou
Maria-Olga Mimikopoulou

I don't understand this fighter jet 'escorting'. So if it is a case of a highjack, what will they do? Blow up the plane and passengers? How is that going to detain suicide bombers using planes? If this plane is on auto pilot and the pilot is dead, how are they going to know and take action?

Aubri Benjamin
Aubri Benjamin

Last update said just south of Cuba headed for Jamaica

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