|Image via Twitter|
Glen M. de Vries who travelled to space with William Shatner last month was passed away along with another person when a small plane crashed in northern New Jersey, according to state police.
De Vries, 49, of New York City, and Thomas Fischer, 54, of Hopatcong, were aboard the single-engine Cessna 172 that went down on Thursday, US time, in a wooded area of Hampton Township.
The aircraft, a single-engine Cessna 172, went down in a wooded area of a state park near Lake Kemah, New Jersey, about 40 minutes before sunset, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, which is investigating the crash.
No other official details surrounding the circumstances of the accident were immediately available.
“Such a tragic loss. Warm and full of life, Glen made us laugh and lit up the room. He was a visionary, and an innovator – a true leader,” Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin’s founder and executive chairman of online retail giant Amazon.com, said on Twitter, adding he was “heartbroken”.
De Vries was an instrument-rated private pilot, founder of the clinical research firm Medidata Solutions and was a trustee at Carnegie Mellon University.
He travelled on October 13 aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft, spending more than 10 minutes in space after launching along with Shatner and others, including Australian venture capitalist Dr Chris Boshuizen.
Speaking to The Sun-Herald and the Sunday Age earlier this year about the space flight, the Sydney-born Dr Boshuizen said his mission was “to let the world know that the world has changed. The days of governments having control over space is over.”
Fischer owned Fischer Aviation, a family-run flight school, and was its head instructor, according to public reports.