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November 13, 2021

Pilot killed in New Jersey plane crash flew to space with William Shatner last month

Just one month ago, the pilot had traveled to space with William Shatner

Investigations Crash
Outer Space New York Public Library/Unsplash

A pilot who flew to outer space with William Shatner last month was killed in a plane crash in New Jersey Thursday.

A man who flew to space with William Shatner last month was killed in a plane crash in New Jersey on Thursday afternoon.

Glen de Vries, 49, of New York, and Thomas Fischer, 54, of Hopatcong, New Jersey, were killed in a small plane crash in Hampton Township, Sussex County. 

New Jersey State Police said troopers responded to a small plane crash at 2:50 p.m. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board confirmed they are investigating the crash of the plane, CNN reported.

De Vries was the cofounder of Medidata Solutions and joined a flight to space last month with William Shatner, best known for his role as Captain Kirk in Star Trek. They went up in a Blue Origin rocket from West Texas.

"We are devastated to hear of the sudden passing of Glen de Vries," Blue Origin said in a statement on Twitter. "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."

The Blue Origin flight took De Vries, Shatner and their two crew members around 60 miles above the Earth's surface and lasted about 11 minutes. This was the second flight to space for Bezos' Blue Origin.

"Both of us love advocating for STEM and science," de Vries told ABC News at the time. "We have a lifetime of stuff to understand..."

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