In a plane crash, a man who went to space with William Shatner perishes.
HAMPTON TOWNSHIP, NEW JERSEY
According to state police, a man who traveled to space with William Shatner last month was killed along with another person when their small plane crashed in a wooded area of northern New Jersey.
Glen M de Vries, 49, of New York City, was a former space tourist, and Thomas P
Fischer, 54, of Hopatcong, was one of the passengers on the Cessna 172 single-engine plane that crashed on Thursday.
Fischer owned a flight school, while De Vries was an instrument-rated private pilot.
The pilot of the small plane has yet to be identified by authorities.
The plane had taken off from Essex County Airport in Caldwell, on the outskirts of New York City, and was on its way to Sussex Airport in rural northwestern New Jersey when the Federal Aviation Administration issued a search alert around 3 p.m.
According to the FAA, the wreckage was discovered around 4 p.m. in Hampton Township by emergency crews.
De Vries, a co-founder of a tech firm, flew to the edge of space for ten minutes in October.
With Shatner and two others, 13 is aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft.
“It’ll take me a long time to put it into words.”
“It was incredible,” de Vries said as Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos pinned his “astronaut wings” onto his blue flight suit.
“We are heartbroken to learn of Glen de Vries’ untimely death,” Blue Origin said in a tweet on Friday.
“He infused the entire Blue Origin team, as well as his fellow crewmates, with so much life and energy.”
His devotion to his craft, his charitable work, and his passion for aviation will be remembered for a long time.”
De Vries was the vice chair of life sciences and health care at Dassault Systemes, which acquired Medidata in 2019.
He had won a seat on the first flight in an auction and had purchased a seat on the second flight.
De Vries also served on the Carnegie Mellon University board of trustees.
According to the company’s website, Fischer owned and operated the flight school Fischer Aviation.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is a federal agency that oversees transportation safety.
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