Private Plane Pilot Apparently Loses Consciousness at the Controls

Officials investigate the cause of the crash involving a Rochester, New York, couple.
3:35 | 09/06/14

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Transcript for Private Plane Pilot Apparently Loses Consciousness at the Controls
We move on to the latest on the investigation into that out-of-control private plane. A couple flying from upstate new York down to Florida when the husband/pilot loses consciousness drifting for thousands of miles. Fighter jets scrammed. They could see directly into the cockpit. The pilot breathing but unconscious. The FAA is investigating right now and ABC's Gloria Riviera joins us from Washington with the latest. Gloria, good morning to you. Reporter: Good morning, Dan. This was a much beloved respected couple in the Rochester, New York, community. Pillars of philanthropy all about giving back who had made countless flights together as husband and wife pilot and co-pilot which is why it makes it so hard for so many to fathom what could have gone wrong. This morning chilling pilot's radio recordings in an aviation mystery. How did a New York couple's brand-new plane fall from the sky 14 miles off the coast of Jamaica. 900 kilo November Atlanta center how do you read. Reporter: Real estate develop developer Laurence glazer and his wife Jane left at 8:45 headed to Naples. About afternoon hour in, 28,000 feet over North Carolina, the first indication of trouble. A request to descend 10,000 feet. We need to descend down to that 1-8-0. We have an indication that is not correct in the plane. Stand by. Reporter: Due to traffic glazer is only cleared to drop to 25,000 feet at first. But then repeated instructions from controllers to descend further go unanswered. At 10:40 A.M. Two fighter jets scramble. One pilot so close he describes the terrifying image of glazer slumped over at the controls. I can see his chest rising and falling right before I left, it was the first time I could see that he was actually breathing. Reporter: Breathing but unconscious. Then the windows icy, a sign that it lost cabin pressure depriving them of oxygen. That could lead to hypoxia which impairs J. A possible ex-practice face for why the experienced pilot did not declare an emergency. I can imagine the horror as they come up to the aircraft and see it's iced over and know right then this pilot has to wake up at some point in that descent. Reporter: At 2:15 P.M. After four hours a ghost plane it crashes off the coast of Jamaica. This particular type of airplane does not have a black box on board. Of course, that makes it harder to find those very important clues. Paula. Bizarre details. Gloria, thank you very much for that. As we heard it is believed hypoxia or sudden loss of oxygen incapacitated the pilot and the passenger and a few years back Ron found out about this. It can happen in a matter seconds and also be prolonged if it's a slow depressurization and can happen in a course of minutes. This test I did at an air traffic safety facility. The interesting thing when it's done slowly the test I did there you don't notice anything. Maybe some lightheadedness that begins to impair your judgment but you don't know it. So you saw in that case the pilot had been in contact by radio and then suddenly was not in contact. Could be he was incapacitated or euphoric or his judgment was lost. It happens -- it can happen slowly as you said, it can happen very quickly. Sometimes you don't even know and why the flight attend dabts say put that mask on -- Because sometimes you only have two or three seconds before you pass out. Very dangerous. Dan. Fascinating, thanks, Ron.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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