Press Releases

UPDATE: Unresponsive aircraft crashes, USCG initiates search

Release No: UNRELEASED Sept. 5, 2014 PRINT | E-MAIL

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. –  NORAD fighter jets launched today, September 5, 2014 to monitor an unresponsive aircraft over the Atlantic Ocean which, according to the FAA, crashed 14 miles off the coast of Port Antonio, Jamaica at about  2:15 p.m. EDT.

The Socata TBM-700 light business and utility aircraft which departed Rochester, NY, did not respond to attempts to communicate.

Initially, at approximately 10:40 a.m. EDT, two F-16 fighter jets launched from McEntire Joint National Guard Base in Richland County, S.C. to investigate.

They handed off monitoring duties at around 11:30 a.m. EDT to two F-15 fighters from Homestead Air Reserve Base, Homestead, Fla. which escorted the aircraft until it entered Cuban airspace. At this time, they broke off with the possibility of reconnecting with the aircraft over international waters south of the island.

The two fighter jets had to return to base due to fuel considerations. The Socata crashed during this time.

The U.S. Coast Guard has initiated a search and rescue mission in the region.

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.