Pilot dead after crop duster crash


GARFIELD, Kansas – The Kansas Highway Patrol says a county commissioner from western Kansas died when his plane crashed while he was crop dusting.

The patrol says 67-year-old Don Cates, a Barton County commissioner from Claflin, died Tuesday afternoon when his ultralight, single-engine plane hit a power line and crashed into a ditch just northwest of Garfield in Pawnee County.

Cates was the only person on board.

Cates was serving as a pilot for Pratt’s Farmers Spraying Service at the time of the crash.

Cates was a pilot in Vietnam and was awarded several military honors. He then flew for 34 years as a commercial pilot before reaching the mandatory retirement age.

He worked several jobs after that and was flying for Pratt’s Farmers Spraying Service when he crashed.

Plane Crash