Medidata Solutions co-founder Glen de Vries and flight instructor Thomas Fischer were killed in the crash of a Cessna 172 on Thursday. A private pilot with an instrument rating, de Vries, 49, travelled to space alongside actor William Shatner onboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft last month. Fischer, 54, owned Fischer Aviation, a flight school based at New Jersey’s Essex County Airport (CDW) where de Vries reportedly received pilot training.
“We are devastated to hear of the sudden passing of Glen de Vries,” Blue Origin said in a statement. “He brought so much life and energy to the entire Blue Origin team and to his fellow crewmates. His passion for aviation, his charitable work, and his dedication to his craft will long be revered and admired.”
The aircraft is believed to have been en route from CDW to Sussex Airport (FWN) in Sussex, New Jersey. It went down in a wooded area in Hampton Township, New Jersey, about 12 miles from FWN. The circumstances surrounding the crash and who was flying the aircraft at the time of the accident are not yet known. The NTSB is investigating.
This article will be updated as more information becomes available.