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Fatal Crop Duster Crash Near Bethel Island

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crop duster

Scene of a fatal crash of a crop dusting plane on Bethel Island Monday. (CBS)

BETHEL ISLAND (CBS 5) — The pilot of a crop dusting plane died Monday when the aircraft crashed on Webb Tract, an island just north of Bethel Island, in a remote agricultural area of Contra Costa County, authorities told CBS 5.

The California Highway Patrol confirmed the fatality.

Contra Costa Sheriff’s spokesman Jimmy Lee said said it appeared the aircraft went down after clipping a tower about 11 a.m.

The island is only reachable by ferry or boat. As a result, the U.S. Coast Guard, the sheriff’s marine patrol and a CHP helicopter were summoned to the area.

The pilot was the only person aboard the S-2R Thrush Commander crop duster, said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor.

The pilot’s name was not released pending notification of his relatives.

FAA investigators were en route to the scene and would investigate the crash along with the National Transportation Safety Board, Gregor said.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

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