An unresponsive US plane has crashed off the island of Jamaica officials have confirmed.

The aircraft was last tracked nearing Jamaica before local military officials confirmed it had crashed into the ocean about 14 miles (22 km) northeast of Port Antonio.

"We can confirm that the plane has gone down," Major Basil Jarrett of the Jamaican Defense Force said.

Two people are confirmed to have been on board the small aircraft. Larry Glazer, a real estate developer in Rochester, New York, was seen slumped over the controls by a fighter jet sent to escort the plane. He and his entrepreneur wife Jane, both died in the crash.

Earlier two US fighter jets were scrambled after the pilot of the single-engine plane flying over the Atlantic failed to respond to repeated contact attempts by air traffic controllers.

North American Aerospace Defense Command (Norad) scrambled the F-15s to intercept the flight bound for Naples, Florida, from Rochester, New York at 11.30am local time on Friday (5 September).

The plane took off at 8:45 a.m. EDT from the Greater Rochester International Airport.

Air traffic controllers were last able to contact the pilot of the Socata TBM700, a high performance single-engine turboprop, at 10 a.m. EDT, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement.

The jets were forced to break off as the unresponsive aircraft, a Socata TBM-700, continued south from Florida into Cuban airspace.

The incident marks the second time in less than a week that a private pilot has become unresponsive during a flight.

On Saturday, a pilot lost consciousness and his plane drifted into restricted airspace over Washington DC. Fighter jets were launched in that case and stayed with the small aircraft until it ran out of fuel and crashed into the Atlantic.

US media reports indicated that the F-15 pilots reported seeing two people slumped over inside the cockpit, and that the aircraft's windows were frosted, which could be caused by the loss of oxygen.

Norad referred to the latest incident as a "possible hypoxia", meaning a loss of oxygen inside the plane.