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Pilot, commissioner Cates dies in air tragedy

GARFIELD — Barton County Commissioner Don Cates, a decorated military hero, died tragically doing what he loved — flying.
Cates was flying a aerial spraying plane near G Road and 210th Ave. 1.5 miles northwest of Garfield in Pawnee County when it crashed at 1:12 p.m. Tuesday after hitting some power lines, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol. Cates flew for Pratt’s Farmers Spraying Service.
The patrol reports Cates was flying a 1999 fixed-wing, single-engine Air Tractor southeast when it struck a power line on the north side of G Road. The plane continued past a row of ...


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