Crop Duster Crash Pilot Error: Report

Pilot likely did not see the 198-foot-tall tower.

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012  |  Updated 6:39 AM PDT
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Crop Duster Crash Pilot Error: Report

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Federal investigators say the pilot of a crop-duster plane probably didn't see the 198-foot weather tower before a deadly crash in Northern California last year.

Fifty-eight-year-old Stephen Allen died when his S-2R Thrush Commander crashed into the tower on Webb Tract Island northeast of the Antioch Bridge on Jan. 10, 2011. The plane was applying seed at the time.

The San Francisco Chronicle says the National Transportation Safety Board warns more crashes are possible unless meteorological towers are better marked.

The NTSB says in the report released last week that the tower was 198 feet tall, two feet shorter than the height that would require it to be marked and lighted under Federal Aviation Administration regulations.

The tower was erected nine months before the deadly crash.

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