Are Crop Dusters Still Used?


Despite advances in airplane technology and safety training, crop dusting remains a dangerous line of work. … Aerial application still plays an important role in modern farming. According to the National Agricultural Aviation Association, 18 to 20 percent of commercial cropland receives some sort of aerial application.

Do farmers fly crop dusters?

Flying with a crop duster is not for me. … The 2,700 ag pilots in the U.S., according to the National Agricultural Aviation Association, spray about 20% of the crop protection sprays, but in any given year, such as 2018 in the southeast, they do a lot more.

How safe is crop dusting?

Is Crop Dusting Dangerous? Yes. Despite technological advances and the aviation industry becoming highly monitored and safety conscious, crop-dusting remains a ‘dangerous line of work’ for its pilots. In 2017, there were 67 incidents involving agricultural airplanes, with 7 of these resulting in a fatality.

What’s the life expectancy of a crop duster?

Crop-dusting, a job that is so much a part of Americana, is graying. The average pilot is about 60 years old, and more than three-fourths of operators have 16 to 70 years of experience, according to a survey by the Environmental Protection Agency.

How much does it cost to crop dust a field?

On average, officials said crop dusting costs between $15 to $25 per acre. Spraying corn fungicide, for example, is on the top end of the scale.

How much does ag pilot school cost?

Training costs range from $50,000 to $70,000 for a private certificate, instrument rating, and commercial pilot certificate with ag training. Randy Berry said pilots who learn in their own airplanes can reduce costs, and he is ready to help students acquire an appropriate airplane.

How low can a crop duster fly over my house?

Over congested areas crop duster planes cannot fly below 1000 feet. Over rural land, they may operate at a minimum of 500 feet. While spraying crops, pilots have to do their best to reduce drift of the chemicals, which means flying as low as possible. They can then fly down to about 8 feet above the crops.

Are crop dusters always yellow?

Simple answer no they come in various color’s. The yellow ones are more favorable as they are called Air Tractor’s and suited better for crop dusting work.

How much does an ag pilot make?

Yep… $50,000 to $70,000 should do it. Ag flying sounds like a great job? There is not much glamour in Ag Flying.

Is crop dusting cost effective?

The upfront cost of aerial spraying is on average a few dollars more than ground application, however, an aerial application may actually improve your profit per acre because there is no crop loss or damage from wheel tracks, no risk of transferring diseases and weeds from field to field and no soil compaction.

How do you crop dust?

In slang, crop-dusting is the act of moving while passing gas, usually silently, thereby “dusting” other people or an area with the gas.

How many planes are in the air at the same time?

And according to them, in the past year there were an average of 9,728 planes — carrying 1,270,406 people — in the sky at any given time. The lightest day for air traffic was the start of the new year, Jan. 1, 2017, when — at the day’s peak — there were 3,354 planes in the sky at the same time.

Why are ag planes yellow?

He flies an Air Tractor 301A that, like most agricultural planes, is bright yellow. The color makes the low-flying planes visible to the higher-flying aircraft overhead and, “it’s easy to see in the crops after a crash,” Wenzel joked.

How much do crop dusters get paid?

Most crop dusters start out earning about $20,000 per year, but the established and experienced crop dusters can make up to $100,000 per year by following the crops and retaining loyal clientele.

How Low Can planes fly legally?

Except for the purposes of landing and taking off, in the US, an aircraft can legally fly as low as 500ft above the ground & if in sparsely populated areas or over water there is no minimum height limit, but there are other factors that need to be maintained.

Why is there Military helicopters flying around 2020?

A U.S. Army spokesperson wrote in an email to DCist that the flyovers are a part of annual training that takes place around this time every year. They’re intended to continue “refining and improving the military’s ability to respond to natural and manmade disasters,” according to a U.S. Army statement.

How Low Can planes fly over your house?

If you live in a sparsely populated area, an airplane is not allowed to fly any lower than 500 feet to any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure including your house.

How many hours do you need to be an ag pilot?

Links to the magazine’s school profiles are provided below. Ag Aviation School specializes in flight training for pilots in agricultural aviation. Our ag pilot program consists of 40 hours of flight time and 40 hours of ground training plus self-study material. The ag program takes about 3 to 4 weeks to complete.

Do you need college degree to be a pilot?

A: A bachelor’s degree is not required to be an airline pilot. Some airlines do require it, while others do not. … Having a degree will give you greater options and leave you in a better position if a medical issue were to prevent you from flying professionally.

Are ag pilots in demand?

Ag pilots are in high demand.

Thanks to the recent farming boom, aerial application is a hot field. … This is in sharp contrast to the majority of other aviation fields; most aircraft makers are in a slump, while leading aerial application manufacturer Air Tractor Inc.

Do helicopters crop dust?

This changed when helicopters played an important role in transporting wounded soldiers and supplies during the Korean War. Their versatility and pin-point hovering capability suddenly gave crop dusting companies a viable alternative to FW aircraft.

How expensive is Fungicide?

First, let’s start with some simple math, the average cost of a fungicide is $10 to $15 per acre, the cost of application is $12 to $15 per acre for aerial and $5 to $8 per acre for ground. This brings the total cost of spraying the fungicide to between $15 and $30 per acre.

How many acres can a plane spray in an hour?

According to Lutes, a passenger plane operates at 200 miles per hour, while crop planes are designed to get off the ground carrying 500 gallons of chemical or 50 bushels of seed at just 140-150 miles per hour. Depending upon the concentrations, those payloads can treat or seed 50-100 acres.


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