Miss. pilot killed in crop duster crash

Published 5:24 pm Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Canton pilot died when his crop duster crashed in a thicket in rural Scott County, authorities said Monday.

Scott County Chief Deputy Richard Gregory said pilot Mike Cochran, 53, died instantly when the plane crashed nose-first into the ground Sunday afternoon near the Leesburg community.

“We received a call about 3 p.m. Sunday that an airplane had not reported back to base in Madison County,” Gregory said. “A search was put together that included our department, volunteers, the fire department, and we were able to locate the plane.”

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Gregory said similar searches were conducted in Madison and Rankin counties since Cochran would have flown over all three counties.

There was no immediate word on what might have caused the accident.

A family spokeswoman said Cochran was a veteran pilot and operator of the Canton-based Cochran Flying Service. The spokeswoman said Cochran was survived by his wife, two daughters and a stepdaughter.

Gregory said Federal Aviation Administration officials were at the crash scene Monday. The National Transportation Safety Board is also expected to investigate.