A search and rescue operation is underway for a pilot on board a single-engine plane that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of New Jersey Thursday. This is the second plane crash under investigation in New Jersey this week.
The Mooney M20 aircraft was headed to Atlantic City International Airport from Gaylord, Michigan, when it crashed into the ocean Thursday afternoon, the Federal Aviation Administration said, according to the Associated Press (AP). Four Coast Guard vessels, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ship, and New Jersey State Police and emergency officials are also reportedly searching the crash site for any sign of the pilot identified as Michael Moir of Gaylord.
The 68-year-old pilot had been flying for nearly 40 years, Moir’s wife, Jean, reportedly told The Press of Atlantic City.
According to data from flight tracking software, the plane was travelling at around 20,000 feet when it began quickly descending, from 1,113 feet per minute to 5,438 feet per minute, over a course of two minutes. The decent rate was “not normal,” FlightAware data analyst Ryan Jorgenson told AP, adding that weather data during the crash shows poor visibility with thunderstorms in the area.
In an earlier incident, a seaplane, which went missing after taking off Tuesday, was reported crashed on Thursday near Somerset Airport. Its pilot was reportedly killed.