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Two crop dusters crash over weekend

SHANNON – Two crop dusters crashed over the weekend in Lee and Ogle counties.

A single-engine airplane used for crop-dusting crashed Saturday morning after attempting to take off and hitting a crosswind, Ogle County Sheriff Michael Harn said.

The plane crashed in a cornfield about 3 miles northeast of Shannon, near the border of Ogle and Carroll counties.

The pilot and sole occupant, James Timo, 56, of Crestview, Fla., was not injured, Harn said. 

It was the second crash in as many days.

Another plane crashed near Steward in Lee County on Friday, according to Illinois State Police in Sterling.

That pilot suffered non-life-threatening injuries after striking a privately owned cellular tower. The engine compartment was on fire when first responders arrived, but the pilot was able to free himself and walk away.

The cell tower and a smaller tower collapsed after the crash, which is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.

The pilot was taken to Rochelle Community Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, then transferred to Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford.

State Police did not name the pilot; it waits for the FAA to release the name, Lt. John Biffany said Tuesday.

FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro released the registration number, which showed the 1982 air tractor is a crop duster registered to Woodley Aerial Leasing in Walnut, but said no further information will be released until the investigation is over. Woodley Aerial Spray is owned by Craig Woodley of Walnut.

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