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By The Record

February 03, 2010 12:00 AM

ESCALON - A pilot was seriously injured Tuesday afternoon when the helicopter he was flying crashed east of Escalon.


The Federal Aviation Administration said the pilot had just refueled the helicopter, usually used for dusting crops, when he crashed at about 2:14 p.m. in an orchard.


FAA Spokesman Ian Gregor said the pilot was not dusting crops at the time of the crash. He was taken to a hospital with serious injuries. The helicopter was destroyed in the crash.


According the FAA's Web site, the helicopter is registered to William Cavanagh of Modesto.


The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.


In a separate incident, the FAA says a crop dusting helicopter crashed about 3.5 miles from Merced County's Los Banos Airport after experiencing mechanical problems around 2:45 p.m. Tuesday.


The helicopter went down in an open field. The pilot was not hurt.

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