A 64-year-old Vineland man was killed Monday afternoon after a single-engine ultralight aircraft he was flying crashed into a wooded area in Franklin Township, Gloucester County, police said.
First responders were called to the scene of the crash, near the 300 block of Tuckahoe Road, shortly before 1 p.m., Franklin Township Police Lt. Matt DeCesari said.
He identified the pilot late Monday night as Gerard Asselta.
Witnesses reported seeing the aircraft in the area of Downstown Airport in nearby Vineland, Cumberland County, before it crashed into the wooded area, but it was not known whether the ultralight was trying to land at the airport, DeCesari said.
Asselta, who was pronounced dead at the scene, was the only person on the single-seat ultralight and had taken off from a private residence in Vineland, DeCesari said. He said authorities did not know what caused the crash, where the aircraft was headed, or how long the man had been a pilot.
Thomas Gilbert, spokesperson for the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office, said investigators with his office and the Federal Aviation Administration were at the scene. The preliminary investigation indicates that the crash was accidental and there was nothing suspicious or criminal, Gilbert said.