Glen de Vries, a 54-year-old software executive, was killed earlier this week when a Cessna 172 he was on crashed in a state park in northern New Jersey. In October, De Vries traveled on Blue Origin’s second short flight to the edge of space alongside William Shatner, the actor best known for playing Star Trek Captain Kirk.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the Cessna 172 was on a flight from Essex County Airport to Fairfield, New Jersey, to Sussex Airport. The two airports are approximately 29 miles apart. Thomas Fischer, the owner and chief instructor of a local flight school, also lost his life in the accident. De Vries trained as a pilot at the flight school, which is based at the departure airport. It is still unclear to authorities which of the two people on board was in control of the plane when it crashed.
In addition to being the latest exploration of a lifelong fascination with aviation and space flight, De Vries has used highly publicized travel to the top of the planet’s upper atmosphere to draw attention to a number of issues. environmental. This included a $ 1 million donation he made to Water.org the day before his Blue Origin flight. Water.org is a non-profit organization that helps provide access to clean drinking water for tens of millions of people around the developing world.
When asked what it feels like to look at Earth, Glen de Vries replied that it made him more aware of the weather. He said: “The passage of time, just like the resources on Earth, seems more valuable with a broader perspective.” He had the means and the opportunity to fulfill his dream of going into space, and he did. When asked, De Vries passionately stated that he (and everyone else who has ever done so) would love to go back to space.