Small plane crashes in southern NJ; pilot injured

August 3, 2011 5:21:21 AM PDT
A banner-towing plane missed its landing and crashed in Egg Harbor Township on Tuesday, seriously injuring the pilot, emergency officials said.

Jason Flood, 20, was trying to land the single-engine aircraft at about 3 p.m. when he missed the grassy airfield used by banner planes that fly up and down the Jersey shore beaches, said Egg Harbor Township Police spokesman Lt. Robert Gray. When he tried a second time to land, he crashed into a patch of brush, either because he lost control or due to a mechanical problem, police said.

Firefighters from multiple departments cut through the wreckage to rescue Flood, who was taken by helicopter to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center. Footage from a television news helicopter showed a white plane with blue stripes in a grassy field, clearly damaged.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Arlene Salac said the pilot was seriously injured and was the only person aboard. The FAA, police and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.

The plane, a fixed-wing Bellanca aircraft, is registered to the same person who registered the website for aerial advertising company Heads Up Advertising, based in Tuckahoe, N.J.. A person who answered the office phone Tuesday declined to provide any information.