Pilot Flees Scene After Landing Plane on Coast Guard Beach

New Jersey banner-tow company says an employee stole the Piper Cub.

The stolen Cub was still sitting on the beach Monday morning.Petty Officer 2nd Class Richard Brahm/U.S. Coast Guard

The pilot of a small plane fled the scene on Sunday after landing on a restricted Coast Guard beach in New Jersey, local news sources reported.

According to nj.com, the pilot took the red Piper Cub banner-towing plane without authorization from Paramount Air Service before illegally landing it on the Coast Guard beach in Cape May, New Jersey. Security cameras recorded the plane landing on the beach at 7:52 that evening. ABC6 Action News in Philadelphia reported witnesses saw the pilot running away from the plane. It is unknown if the pilot was injured or why he chose to land on the beach.

Cape May Star and Wave Newspaper posted about the incident on its Facebook page. “According to Barbara Tomalino, president of Paramount Air Service, one of her pilots took a banner towing plane without authorization. She [sic] did not know if the aircraft landed on the Coast Guard beach as a result of mechanical difficulties,” the post said.

Nj.com also reported witnesses seeing the plane diving and turning sharply over a residential area. A few witnesses took video of the plane flying aggressively at low level before it landed on the beach. The Coast Guard Training center was placed under “heightened security” after the incident. The plane was still on the beach Monday morning.

According to the Cape May Star and Wave Newspaper, both the Cape May Police Department and Coast Guard responded to the scene at 8:10 p.m. that evening, with the Coast Guard Fire Department, Coast Guard Police Department and Coast Guard investigative services arriving after. An FAA investigator arrived on the scene on Monday.