Crop-duster was using cellphone before Iowa crash

BRITT, Iowa (AP) — A federal report says a crop-dusting pilot had been distracted by using his cellphone just before fatally crashing in northern Iowa last year.

Pilot John Larson, of Buffalo Center, died about eight hours after his plane crashed into a cornfield three miles northeast of Britt on July 17, 2012. Authorities say the plane struck a power line, clipped a power pole and then crashed.

The National Transportation Safety Board report dated Wednesday says the probable cause of the crash was Larson’s failure to maintain clearance from the power line.

The report also says that “contributing to the accident was the pilot’s distracted attention due to personal cellphone use during flight operations.”

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