Prominent Rochester Jewish Couple Die in Mystery Plane Crash

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Members of Jamaica's Marine Police leave the port to join in the search for the plane that crashed off the east coast of Jamaica, September 6, 2014. Credit: Reuters

The Jewish couple who died in a plane crash off the coast of Jamaica Friday are being remembered for their contributions to the local community in Rochester, New York. 

Larry and Jane Glazer, both 68, died when the small plane they were piloting crashed into the sea off the coast of Jamaica, some 2,735 kilometers from its starting point in Rochester. The couple was flying to Florida, where they had a home.

Officials suspect that the plane suffered a sudden loss of cabin pressure, rendering the couple unconscious. Glazer had twice requested to lower his flight path during emergency calls to air traffic control prior to passing out.

Larry Glazer, a prominent real estate developer, was called the "patron saint" of Rochester for his part in reviving the structural relics of the city’s past.

The CEO and managing partner of Buckingham Properties, was at the forefront of downtown Rochester's resurgence, with a portfolio that included many of the city’s most iconic buildings.

"My vision starts with the idea that downtown can come back and it will be vibrant. It will be different than it was,” Larry Glazer said in a recent interview with Rochester’s City Newspaper. “I've spent the last few years traveling around this country looking at downtowns, and I see what they've done. And I'm telling you that there's no reason why Rochester can't do it, too."

According to the newspaper, Buckingham Properties, either owns, co-owns, or manages nearly 13 million square feet (four million square meters) of real estate space, including some of downtown Rochester's best-known buildings: Midtown Tower, Xerox Square, and the Bausch and Lomb building.

Jane Glazer, meanwhile, was a math teacher before she setting up a thriving catalog business called QCI Direct, ABC News reported.

Lawrence Fine, Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Rochester, said that the Glazers were very involved in Jewish and community life and were outstanding people, the Jewish Daily Forward reported.

“They were both leaders in the community and the business world,” Fine said. “Both will be hugely missed.

Both Glazers served terms as members of the Jewish Federation of Rochester board. Larry Glazer had a successful real estate business and was also a member of the Jewish Home of Rochester board.

The couple left three children, Melinda, Richard and Kenneth, and six grandchildren.

The Glazer’s plane, which took off from New York on Friday morning, triggered a U.S. security alert as it passed its Naples, Florida destination and stopped responding to radio calls about an hour after take-off.

It continued flying south for several hours at an altitude of 25,000 feet before entering Cuban airspace and heading towards the Caribbean, eventually crashing 14 miles North East of Port Antonio in Portland, Jamaica on Friday afternoon. In total, it traveled more than 1,700 miles.

Two U.S. fighter jets were sent to the plane after air traffic controllers were unable to make contact with the pilot. The jet pilots noted that Glazer was slumped over his controls, perhaps from oxygen deprivation.

One of the fighter jet pilots said he could see the pilot of the small plane, a SOCATA TBM 700, which has a pressurized cabin, was still alive. “'I can see his chest rising and falling,” he said in a recording of his dispatch. “Right before I left... we could see that he was actually breathing.”

The plane, the pilots said, had “frosted windows,” an indication of a sudden loss of cabin pressure. Officials said they suspected hypoxia - a deprivation of oxygen - could have caused the couple to pass out.

The pilot requested to fly lower during two calls to air traffic control, according to reports. However, when they asked if he wanted to declare himself in a state of emergency, he said no.

Neither the wreckage of the plan not the bodies of the Glazers have yet been recovered from the sea.

In this September 18, 2012 photo, Jane Glazer, owner of QCI Direct of Chili, heads back to her seat after winning Rochester Business Ethics Award at the Riverside Convention Center in Rochester, N.Y.Credit: AP
In this June 24, 2010 photo, developer Larry Glazer gestures toward a building to be demolished on Alexander Street in Rochester, N.Y. Credit: AP

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