Glen de Vries was a 49-year old co-founder at Medidata Solutions and vice-chair at Dassault Systemes. He made headlines last month when he flew into space with actor William Shatner.
New Jersey State Police Troopers confirmed De Vries' death. They found a Cessna 172 single-engine plane in a densely wooded area close to Lake Kemah. Thomas Fischer, a 54-year-old flight instructor and owner of Fischer Aviation, was with him. According to the New Jersey Herald, the plane was travelling from Caldwell Airport in Essex County to Sussex Airport.
De Vries was one of four passengers who flew to space aboard the second crewed suborbital flight by the New Shep ard reusable launch vehicle. De Vries paid an undisclosed sum to purchase his ticket on Jeff Bezos' company.
Blue Origin announced De Vries' flight in September in a news release. This was a result of intensive training in flying only instruments in an airplane. According to the school's website, De Vries was a student at Fischer Aviation from 2016 until now.
G/O Media could earn a commission up to 38% on Canon Cameras and Accessories
Amazon has a small selection of lenses, cameras and lights on sale. Amazon: Shop
De Vries, Shatner and Audrey Powers were also on the flight.
Blue Origin posted on Twitter Friday that they were shocked to learn of Glen de Vries' sudden death. He brought so much energy and life to the Blue Origin team as well as his crewmates. His passion for aviation, charitable work and dedication to his craft will be long remembered and admired.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration's accident database, the plane was "destroyed" or "crashed under unknown circumstances."
Bezos also tweeted his condolences to De Vries on Friday.
"What a terrible loss. Glen was warm and full of life. He made everyone laugh and lightened up the room. He was an innovator and visionary - a true leader. Lauren and I are devastated and will always remember the time we shared together," Bezos wrote. He said: "Our deepest sympathy are with Leah, his partner and all his loved ones." Glen, the world has lost you too quickly.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the FAA said that it and National Transportation Safety Board would investigate the crash. In about one week, a preliminary report on the possible cause of the crash will be available.
De Vries stated that the chance was a dream come to life before he flew.
"I have spent my entire career trying to improve people's lives. He said that humanity can thrive with the help of space travel, as there are limited resources and energy available on Earth. "Astronauts can also experience the overview effect' and gain a new perspective about how fragile and valuable our planet, its resources and our civilization is. It is an amazing opportunity to play a role in the advancement of space industry and make those resources and that understanding accessible to everyone one day.