Authorities say the pilot is Lawrence Klimek, 58, of Howell, New Jersey.
The aircraft departed Trenton-Robbinsville Airport in Robbinsville, New Jersey, about 8 a.m. Wednesday.
U.S. Coast Guard officials confirm a Mooney M20J single-engine plane went down in the water approximately 1,200 feet from the lighthouse before 11:30 a.m.
The recovery of the pilot is being conducted by the New Jersey State Police and the recovery of the aircraft is being conducted by a private salvage company. Both recovery operations are active and ongoing.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.
Anyone with information on the crash is asked to contact the NJSP Marine Services Bureau Atlantic City Station at 609-449-1472 or the Lower Township Police Department at 609-886-2711.