Pilot Survives After Small Plane Crashes in Eagleswood, NJ

The plane smashed into and was stuck in a tree in the front yard of a home.

A pilot survived after his small plane crashed in Ocean County, New Jersey. 

The plane smashed into and was stuck in a tree in the front yard of Jeff Marcucci's home in Eagleswood Township Tuesday around 8:30 p.m.

"It's feet from my house," Marcucci told NBC10. "It's a little crazy. This was a close call for us."

The plane is a vintage Stinson 108-2. The pilot, Kenneth Miess of Texas, was able to walk away from the wreckage. Miess said the plane ran into trouble shortly after he took off from the Eagles Nest Airport, about a mile away from the crash scene on Laurel Hill Lane.

"I was just departing and the engine quit and it looked like I could see light," Miess said. "Maybe there was a fire in the engine compartment."

Residents in the area, including Michele Paccione, told NBC10 they've repeatedly voiced their concerns about their close proximity to Eagles Nest and an increase in air traffic over the past few years as more services were added.

"They land and take off right over the roof of my house," Paccione said. "So this is absolutely a fear that we live with every day." 

Peter Weidhorn, the owner of Eagles Nest, told NBC10 he's invested money to make the facility viable to the community which includes steps to make it safer.

"We've added lights and enhanced safety," Weidhorn said. "We've added an instrument approach that's coordinated with Atlantic City and McGuire Air Force base" 

The FAA is currently investigating the crash. Marcucci is worried it won't be the last.

"It could be closer next time or it could be fatal," he said.

The incident occurred a day after a small plane that was attempting to land at Teterboro Airport crashed into a residential area in Carlstadt, New Jersey, killing two crew members.

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