UPDATE 3:21 p.m.: The plane went down about 14 miles north-east of Port Antonio, a source from the Jamaican Defence Force told BBC.

Jamaican officials say that the plane crashed off, not on, the island, according to an AP report.

Jamaican and US Coast Guard planes and ships are en-route to the scene, according to the BBC’s report.

A NORAD tweet suggested the pilot or pilots could be unresponsive due to “possible hypoxia” -“a fancy term for when your brain is deprived of oxygen,” according to CNN.

UPDATE 2:38 p.m.: Officials say the plane has crashed in Jamaica, according to an Associated Press report. More details as they become available.

UPDATE 2:21 p.m.: CNN reports that the small plane has left U.S. airspace and a Cuban fighter jet has taken over the monitoring of the aircraft.

Before the small plane’s windows frosted over, a pilot was slumped over, a NORAD official told CNN. The official also noted that one or two other passengers are believed to be on board, although that number has not been confirmed.

Earlier —

Rochester, N.Y. — An unresponsive plane that departed from Rochester is now being directed by two fighter jets over the Atlantic Ocean.

The Socata TBM-700 light business and utility aircraft left Rochester Friday morning en-route to Naples, Fla. According to a news release by NORAD, sometime after takeoff the plane’s occupants did not respond to communication attempts.

NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, continues to monitor the situation “in close coordination” with the Federal Aviation Administration. NORAD has two F-15 fighter jets investigating the situation.

As of 11:30 a.m., the plane is over the Atlantic Ocean.

We’ll provide updates as we get them.

Read the full news release below:

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – As of 11:30 a.m. EDT today, September 5th, 2014, two F-15 fighter jets under the direction of North American Aerospace Defense Command launched to investigate an unresponsive aircraft currently flying over the Atlantic Ocean.

The Socata TBM-700 light business and utility aircraft departed Rochester, NY with a flight plan filed to land in Naples, FL, however the plane’s occupants did not respond to attempts to communicate. The aircraft continues to be followed by NORAD jets.

NORAD continues to monitor the situation in close coordination with the FAA. More information will be made available as it emerges.

NORAD’s mission – in close collaboration with homeland defense, security, and law enforcement partners – is to prevent air attacks against North America, safeguard the sovereign airspaces of the United States and Canada by responding to unknown, unwanted and unauthorized air activity approaching and operating within these airspaces, and provide aerospace and maritime warning for North America.

As one of NORAD’s critical airspace security partners, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) provides air traffic services for NORAD to safely and effectively perform its mission and to minimize the impacts on normal air traffic operations.

NORAD is the bi-national Canadian and American command that is responsible for the air defense of North America and maritime warning. The command has three subordinate regional headquarters: the Alaskan NORAD Region at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska; the Canadian NORAD Region at Winnipeg, Manitoba; and the Continental NORAD Region at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. The command is poised both tactically and strategically in our nation’s capital to provide a multilayered defense to detect, deter and prevent potential threats flying over the airspace of the United States and Canada.


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Kyle Friend

A senior at Cornell University, Kyle covers the affordable housing crisis for the Ithaca Voice. Reach him through e-mail: kyleafriend@gmail.com.