Authorities identify pilot killed in crop duster crash near Somerton

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A crop duster crashed near Somerton early Sunday morning. By Jennifer Thomas A crop duster crashed near Somerton early Sunday morning. By Jennifer Thomas

SOMERTON, Ariz. -- The pilot of a crop duster that crashed in an open field south of Yuma and burst into flames has been identified.

The Yuma County Sheriff's Office said Michael Alan Kratz, 55, of North Dakota, died Sunday.

Deputies located the aircraft fully engulfed in flames in the area of County 18 1/2 Street and Avenue D 1/2 near Somerton.

The Air Tractor 502 crop duster was not carrying any chemicals when it crashed at approximately 1:20 a.m., according to the sheriff's office.

The plane is owned by Tri Rotor and operated out of Somerton.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.