Small plane crashes in wooded area near Ocean County Airport; crews work to contain wildfire
A small plane crashed Saturday night in a wooded area near the Ocean County Airport and may be responsible for a wildfire that sparked in the heavily wooded area.
The National Transportation Safety Board says the single-engine Cirrus SR22 crashed around 10:18 p.m. about a half-mile southwest of the Ocean County Airport in Bayville. The flight originated from Monmouth Executive Airport in Farmingdale, New Jersey, about 30 miles north of the crash site.
Authorities confirmed to News 12 New Jersey that the incident was fatal. The FAA says only a pilot was onboard at the time of the crash.
Chopper 12 was over the airfield on Sunday morning where large plumes of smoke were billowing. Roads in the area have been closed as responders work to contain the flames.
The New Jersey Forest Fire Service is posting updates:
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating what led to the crash. The name of the pilot has not yet been released.
The crash took place in an inaccessible area of the forest. Resident who spoke with News 12 New Jersey said they can see and smell the smoke.
"I was outside on the deck, had some ash falling on me," said Ron, who was traveling in nearby Lacey.
The fire burned over 600 acres in size.
The fire had been contained about 50% and there were still several road closures as of Sunday night.