Mission Aviation Fellowship

What does it take to become an AG pilot

On board with AG pilot Patrick Cohen as he talks about some of the techniques AG pilots use when crop dusting. The popular YouTuber also discusses the skills needed to become a successful AG pilot

To reduce drift of the sprayed materials, agricultural pilots attempt to fly just above the crops being treated. Fields are often surrounded by obstacles such as trees, telephone lines, and farm buildings. Purpose-built agricultural airplanes have strengthened cockpits to protect the pilot if an accident occurs.

Aerial spraying has been controversial since the 1960s, due to environmental concerns about pesticide drift. It is now often subject to restrictions, for example spraying pesticide is generally banned in Sweden, although exceptions can be made such as for an area plagued by mosquitoes during summer.

The aerial spread of fertilizer has also raised concerns, for example in New Zealand fertilizer entering streams has been found to disproportionately promote growth of species that are more able to exploit the nutrients, in a process known as eutrophication, which has led to restrictions on topdressing near waterways.

Author: FTN Editor

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