Pilot flees after illegally landing plane on N.J. Coast Guard beach

In this June 24, 2018 photo, Coast Guard personnel stand in front of a plane on a secured beach on the southeast side of the U.S. Coast Guard Training Center Cape May after it landed illegally and there was no sign of the pilot. The Coast Guard says officers became aware of the incident when the plane was spotted on closed-circuit cameras. (Petty Officer 2nd Class Richard/U.S. Coast Guard via AP)

In this June 24, 2018 photo, Coast Guard personnel stand in front of a plane on a secured beach on the southeast side of the U.S. Coast Guard Training Center Cape May after it landed illegally and there was no sign of the pilot. The Coast Guard says officers became aware of the incident when the plane was spotted on closed-circuit cameras. (Petty Officer 2nd Class Richard/U.S. Coast Guard via AP)

Authorities are searching for the pilot of a single-engine red plane that illegally landed on a Coast Guard beach in New Jersey.

The United States Coast Guard Training Center in Cape May increased security after the craft landed on its beach just before 8 p.m. Sunday.

Eyewitnesses nearby in Cape May County said the pilot was flying erratically prior to landing.

A video captured from a beach in Wildwood showed the pilot flying low over the ocean and making sharp turns.

The Coast Guard said officers became aware of the incident when the plane was spotted on closed-circuit cameras.

There was no sign of the pilot.

A Coast Guard official said authorities are confident the pilot is not on military property.

“After working with Cape May County Sheriff’s Department K-9 Unit, which indicated the pilot’s scent lead away from the training center, as well as physical tracks from the plane and security camera footage showing the pilot heading away from the training center itself, the command decided to resume standard security measures,” said Chief Warrant Officer John Edwards.

Barbara Tomalino, owner of Paramount Air Service, said one of the company’s planes was taken “without authority of the management or ownership of Paramount Air Service.”

She added that the company, which has been working with authorities to resolve the incident, doesn’t know the pilot’s motivation or his whereabouts. The pilot was not identified.


The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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