FAA: crop-duster pilot violated no rules before mid-air collision

Friday, January 21st 2005, 9:24 am
By: News On 6

HOLLISTER, Okla. (AP) -- A Federal Aviation Administration official says the pilot of a crop duster violated no rules before his plane and an Air Force training jet collided in mid-air in southwestern Oklahoma.

Pilot Dierk Nash of Wheatley, Arkansas, died in the collision and crash Tuesday in a military operating area over Tillman County.

Nash was flying the plane from Texas to a customer in South Dakota and the jet flown by Captain Christopher Otis and Second Lieutenant Roderick James was returning to Sheppard Air Force Base near Wichita Falls, Texas.

Otis and James parachuted safely from the jet before it crashed.

FAA spokesman John Clabes says Nash had a clean flight record and was not in violation of any rule as far as investigators can tell.

The FAA is assisting the National Transportation Safety Board's investigation of the crash. Sheppard Air Force Base is conducting its own investigation in cooperation with the FAA and the NTSB.