Ag aircraft crashes near Delano; pilot dead

Ag aircraft crashes near Delano; pilot dead »Play Video
Authorities are on scene Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, after an agricultural helicopter crashed in rural Kern County, killing its pilot.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — A pilot died Wednesday when her agricultural helicopter crashed in northern Kern County.

The aircraft went down in heavy early morning fog about 6 miles southeast of Delano. The wreckage was found in a grape vineyard off Spangler Road.

The sheriff's department said the woman was circulating air with her helicopter to keep crops warm amid freezing temperatures. The coroner's office identified the pilot as 62-year-old Karen L. Johnson, of Camarillo.

Officials didn't say who owns the helicopters or employs the pilots.

A second ag helicopter was in the air when the crash occurred around 6 a.m. and reported the incident. A sheriff's helicopter crew had to wait for the morning fog to lift before it could find the crash site around 10 a.m.

The Federal Aviation Administration initiated an investigation.