Glen de Vries and Thomas Fischer were aboard a single-engine Cessna that went down Thursday in northern New Jersey
Guardian staff and agencies
Fri 12 Nov 2021 16.07 EST
A wealthy tech mogul who traveled to space with William Shatner last month was killed along with another person when a small plane crashed in northern New Jersey, according to state police.
Glen de Vries, 49, of New York City, and Thomas Fischer, 54, of Hopatcong, New Jersey, were aboard a single-engine Cessna 172 that went down Thursday in a wooded area of Hampton Township.
De Vries founded Medidata Solutions, a tech company, and was a trustee at Carnegie Mellon University. He traveled on 13 October aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft, spending more than 10 minutes in space after launching along with Shatner and others.
In a statement, Blue Origin said: “We are devastated to hear of the sudden passing of Glen de Vries. He brought so much life and energy to the entire Blue Origin team and to his fellow crew mates. His passion for aviation, his charitable work, and his dedication to his craft will long be revered and admired.”
Fischer owned Fischer Aviation, a family-run flight school, and was its head instructor, according to public reports.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.