(photo credit: )
The pilot who was killed early Tuesday after his crop duster crashed in the Jezreel Valley was Gidon Shatil, 61, of Moshav Tel Adashim.
Shatil was the lead pilot for the crop dusting company Chem-Nir, and managed the firm's tarmac at Kibbutz Beit Hashita.
Shatil sent out a distress call, reporting that the plane was losing altitude shortly before going down between Kibbutz Ein Herod and Kibbutz Moledet in the Jezreel Valley, northeast of Beit Shean.
Three rescue teams, from both Magen David Adom and the local firefighters, were scrambled to the scene, but despite resuscitation efforts, the pilot succumbed to his injuries.
"It was very hard to see the plane [go down] in the middle of the field," fire chief Micky Levy told Israel Radio.
"There was a cloud [of smoke] and a smell," Levy continued. The fire chief told interviewers that he had no knowledge of the reason for the crash, but that an investigative team had been appointed.
Army Radio reported that the plane had apparently run into an electrical wire.
Israel Radio also reported that the damage to the aircraft had caused flammable materials to leak out into the surrounding fields.
Firefighters were working to contain the damage.
Magen David Adom reported that the chemicals the plane was carrying made the rescue efforts particularly difficult, and that some of the volunteers were suffering from dizziness and nausea.