MIDDLE TOWNSHIP — Thomas Gibson, a 23-year-old pilot, died Saturday in the crash of a small plane in Green Creek while working as a banner plane pilot.

On Saturday, Townsquare Media reported that  Middle Township Police Department was notified of the plane crash just after 9:30 a.m. at Paramount Airfield, 317 Route 47 South, in the Green Creek section of Middle Township.

The Press of Atlantic City reports that Gibson was flying a Piper PA-12 in his job as a banner plane pilot for Cape May Aerial Advertising.

A preliminary investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board indicates that Gibson had taken off from the airfield and come around again to attempt to pick up the banner, as is the usual procedure.

A spokesperson for the NTSB said that Gibson missed the banner on his first attempt and, on his second attempt, the plane veered to one side, lost altitude, and crashed, according to the Press of Atlantic City.

Investigators will now focus on the cause of the plane crash.

Gibson's obituary says he split his time living in Medford Lakes, Gloucester County, and Ocean City. A 2017 graduate of Shawnee High School and from Marywood University in 2021, Gibson worked at the Ocean City Airport and for Cape May Aerial banner tow.

He was accumulating hours toward achieving his  Airline Transport Pilot Certificate. The obituary says that aviation was Gibson's passion.

A celebration of his life will be held on Thursday, July 21 at Greate Bay Country Club, 901 Somers Point Mays Landing Road, Somers Point. Visitation starts at 5 p.m. with services at 6 p.m.

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