Public Safety

Crop duster hit power lines, tree before deadly crash in Sumner

Cleanup was underway August 9, 2019 after a small plane crashed in Sumner. The nearby First State Bank was damaged by debris from the crash. The plane crashed into power lines along Highway 93 and landed in the yard of a mixed-use building on the west edge of town. (AMIE RIVERS/Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier)
Cleanup was underway August 9, 2019 after a small plane crashed in Sumner. The nearby First State Bank was damaged by debris from the crash. The plane crashed into power lines along Highway 93 and landed in the yard of a mixed-use building on the west edge of town. (AMIE RIVERS/Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier)

SUMNER — A preliminary report from federal aviation safety officials said a crop duster plane involved in a fatal crash in northeast Iowa hit power lines before going down Aug. 9.

The report from the National Transportation Safety Board, released Thursday, said a witness told investigators the airplane flew “very low” over his home early that morning and he was “amazed it cleared the trees.”

The fiery crash in Sumner killed the pilot, David Baker, 56, of Swedesburg, who was flying from Mount Pleasant to Oelwein.

The report doesn’t list a definitive cause of the crash.

But it said the plane hit a set of power lines about 40 feet high, hit a second set of power lines, a roof-mounted antenna and a utility pole before crossing Highway 93 and crashing into a tree.

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