Ocean County man dies in Pinelands plane crash

    A factory restored 1947 North American Navion. (By Bosscat65 - Own work

    A factory restored 1947 North American Navion. (By Bosscat65 - Own work

    An Ocean County man was killed when his small plane crashed in Bass River State Forest in Burlington County.

    Authorities say the Ryan Navion A plane, piloted by William Lindley, 75, of Beachwood, had departed from Salisbury, Maryland on Saturday but failed to arrive at Ocean County Airport in New Jersey on Saturday night as scheduled.

    Callers reported a possible downed aircraft shortly before 11 a.m. Sunday. 

    After attempts to communicate with the pilot were unsuccessful, the pilot’s cellphone was tracked to the area where the plane was found. A multi-agency search began, and a Coast Guard helicopter crew spotted the plane a few hours later in the state forest.

    It wasn’t immediately known if anyone else was on the aircraft.

    The New Jersey State Police Aviation Division and Urban Search and Rescue Units also searched the area.

    According to FlightAware, the 1949 fixed wing single engine aircraft contains five seats and reaches a maximum speed of 126 miles per hour.

    The plane was built by North American Aviation and designed similar to the North American P-51 Mustang, known as a top Allied fighter aircraft in World War II. 

    The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration are investigating.

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    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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