Two planes crash in midair in Sutter County, FAA confirms

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Two single-engine planes crashed in midair in Sutter County about noon Wednesday, killing both pilots, the Sutter County Sheriff’s Office said.

The crash occurred just before noon near the 3700 block of Striplin Road in Sutter County, according to Undersheriff Scott Smallwood. Deputies responded to reports of a single plane crash and found both planes had crashed in a rice field about 150 to 200 yards apart. Both pilots were declared dead on the scene.

The pilots have been identified as Brian Julean VanDyke, 63 years old, of Rio Oso and Burton Allen Haughey, 59 years old, of Wheatland, Smallwood said.

Both pilots were in Grumman G-164C Ag Cat planes, a a cropduster-type plane, and the pilots were seeding the rice field at the time of the collision, Smallwood said.

VanDyke’s body was found outside of his plane, and Haughey’s was found still in the plane and “pretty mangled,” Smallwood said.

The Federal Aviation Administration will handle the investigation into the crash, Smallwood said.