New Jersey State Police identified the two men who died as 49-year-old Glen De Vries and 54-year-old Thomas Fischer.
De Vries was the CEO of Medidata and just last month was on board the Blue Origin flight that carried "Star Trek" actor to space.
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 crewmates. His passion for aviation, his charitable work, and his dedication to his craft will long be revered and admired. pic.twitter.com/1hwnjntTVs— Blue Origin (@blueorigin) November 12, 2021
"It's going to take me a while to be able to describe it. It was incredible," de Vries said as he got his Blue Origin "astronaut wings" pinned onto his blue flight suit by Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos.
Bezos called De Vries' death a tragic loss.
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. Lauren and I are heartbroken and will remember the precious time we got to spend together. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/AYKCGIUQfD— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) November 12, 2021
De Vries also served on the board of Carnegie Mellon University.
Fischer owned Fischer Aviation, a family-run flight school, and was its head instructor, according to public reports.
Troopers responded at 2:50 p.m. to the report of a small aircraft crash in Hampton Township in Sussex County.
They located the single-engine Cessna 172 in a state park near Lake Kemah, after the FAA issued an alert for the missing aircraft.
The aircraft departed from Essex County Airport for Sussex Airport.
The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the cause of the crash.
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