BRANCH, La. (KFLY) – A crop duster pilot crashed into a crawfish pond Thursday afternoon in Acadia Parish. He escaped without injury. Investigators will now look to see if mechanical problems played a role in bringing the plane down.
The pilot had just taken off from a nearby landing strip around 3 p.m. Thursday to fertilize a field. His crop duster hit a crawfish pond and flipped over.
“Upon arrival the officer found that a drop duster was attempting to take off, lost power, and ended up in this crawfish field,” said Maxine Trahan, the Acadia Parish Sheriff’s Office’s Public Information Officer.
This all happened on LA-35 in Branch a little north of LA-365. The pond is just south of Fruge Farms. Chad Thibodeaux lives nearby and drove over to see the wreckage.
“When you first look at the plane, first thing that comes out of your mind he didn’t walk out of it cause it’s really tore up,” Thibodeaux said.
But the pilot did make it out of the plane, and he wasn’t hurt either. The water was only a couple of feet deep.
Thibodeaux says he knows some of the men who work around here. He says when the crop duster went in they pulled up on four wheelers. The pilot was getting out of the plane and then they helped him to the shore.
“Sounds like he had a little help to get out but I saw him walking around over here on the premises and he was walking pretty good,” Thibodeaux said.
It’s the second crop duster crash in Acadia Parish in a month. On May 5, Jed Toups, 32, was killed when his crop duster clipped some trees and crashed near Basile.
“The circumstances from this crash and the last crash were totally different. Totally different surroundings there were trees in the other crash. Here it was a pond and the pilot is a little shaken up at this point but he’s doing fine,” Trahan said.
Deputies said having two crashes this close together is a coincidence as crop duster crashes aren’t common in the parish. FAA investigators arrived on scene Thursday afternoon and the National Transportation Safety Board is on its way.