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For you crop duster guys............


dads706
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Local guy used to have a helicopter he sprayed with. After he crashed 2, he said that he wasn't taking any chances with #3. He quit. A local family their oldest son (maybe only son) had a helicopter spraying business in South Dakota. Crashed probably 15 years ago. He didn't survive.

Why do you always hear of the helicopters crashing? Don't think I've ever heard of a fixed wing duster crashing. Is it just because they have so many moving parts? I know they glide almost as good as a rock.

Family friend collected WWII trainer planes. Swore he would never get in a helicopter.

The last few days the sky has been full of crop dusters spraying soybeans. Just got me to thinking.

ps: couple guys have flown close enough to the shop I could wave as they went over.

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The last guy we had do some spraying for us with an airplane which was about 25 years ago did crash.  But he crashed the day after he took me up in his regular plane so I could point out the fields to spray.  He was spraying for somone else when he crashed and he was going underneath some power lines.  

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Believe me the planes crash too, a lot of hazards in that line of work and almost no recovery that close to the ground, don’t think you can get life insurance in that occupation 

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34 minutes ago, hardtail said:

Believe me the planes crash too, a lot of hazards in that line of work and almost no recovery that close to the ground, don’t think you can get life insurance in that occupation 

Actually insurance companies did studies in the ‘90’s and with gps and safety features they can get life insurance now.

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Several plane crop dusters have crashed round here during my lifetime.

Last year a crop duster I sometimes used got caught in power lines and died in the crash.

Years ago I was flagging for Jim Mitchell as he sprayed stam on our rice field. Suddenly the sound changed and I looked over to see him nose down in our field! We ran out to him, expecting the worst. When we got there he was standing in the water next to his plane cussing and kicking it. The engine had pulled off, causing him to crash. We took a dual wheel tractor and pulled him out to the road. Then we carried the engine out and loaded it in the back of a pickup. He drove up to Wichita and brought back another motor and prop. After alot of beating and welding he took off and went back to spraying!

They crash too!

Thx-Ace 

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Several guys that sprayed for dad over the years, would show up the next time with a different plane/helicopter. He would ask if it was an upgrade or a had to replace the wreck. Two of the upgrades were replacing crashed birds. One crashed a plane 20+ miles away from us, dad was waiting for him to show up and kind of knew his schedule, so went looking for him. Found out his plane was in a cornfield. He had started early that day and it was foggy, he saw a tree in the middle of the field and moved to go around it but the tip of the wing caught the corn stalks and pulled the plane in. Dad said you could see dents all over the plane from the ears of corn. The pilot walked away.

Was coming home this past Sunday from a camping trip and met two Sky Tractors on gooseneck trailers heading west on 44 in Missouri, about an hour out of St. Louis.

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Several crop dusters fly out of a local airport, about 7 miles away plus know 2 crop dusters have their own airfields so see lots of planes crop dusting. Have been several  rashes over the years. Depends on cause of crash as to rate of survival. Mechanical, such as engine failure there's a good chance of survival. Pilot error, usually not so well. Been a few you caught power lines, none survived that I know of. Line stretches tight then snaps back, sorta like a slingshot. Modern spray planes have wire cutters on their landing gear but they don't always work. 

Had a friend in high school that crop dusted with a helicopter, he traveled all over the US crop dusting, orchards, canning companies, as well as for farmers. He crashed a couple times but walked away.  Not many crop dusters using helicopters in this area. Friend passed away from cancer a few years ago. Only know of one other & he's about an hour away, he has 4 copters.

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I Received My Pilots License in 1975,  My then soon to be Father in Law lived on a Farm with his own Class D air strip.

All of the Young Men that were Dating his Daughters, My Wife is one of 4 Girls in that Family, Were Told,

" If Your Serious About Being Part Of this Family, You Will Pass the Flight Test, and be Licensed to fly".

I Passed my "Solo" flight test in his Cessna 180,  The rest is History,   He Owned 7 Planes Tied Down or in His Hanger at His Air Strip.   I Enjoyed Flying!!

A Good Family Friend Had Several 1940's Stearman airplanes Converted to Agriculture use,  40 Bushel of wheat could be Broadcast, or Dusting for Potato Bugs,

 The Plane could be adapted to most applications,

I Was recruited to Broadcast wheat one Fall with this World War II Strearman,  My Father in Law Knew this was my Calling.

I flew the Stearman for a few Hours that windy afternoon,   I never Successfully dropped a Kernel of wheat in the designated Field that day, 

I was either told by the radio Headset Screaming in my ear's, "You dumped the load of wheat in the Dirt road" or " The Wood's belonging to the neighbors won't grow anything!!"

The Stearman airplane was solid,  comfortable, easy to fly, and powerful.

The "Death Wish" of flying around & under power lines was Uncomfortable.

The 1930's "Rural Electrical Association" (REA) of Michigan had Power poles going every direction across farmers fields, some were placed 75 feet off of the center line of the county road, or Diagonal from corner to corner,  took some serious studying of a Farm to be successful. 

I Didn't Continue with this "Flying Job",     I have always had the highest respect for all the folks that Fly!!

A Trip Down Memory Lane, Jim Droscha   

 

 

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You have to survive your mistakes to become an expert.

Ron

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I had a real dandy just south of Applington in 2003.  A diagonal wire across the corner of the field.  I spent 5 weeks in the hospital....The airplane did not survive.

Ron

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9 hours ago, Alan Dinan said:

 

Was coming home this past Sunday from a camping trip and met two Sky Tractors on gooseneck trailers heading west on 44 in Missouri, about an hour out of St. Louis.

You were about 2 miles from me an hour west of St. Louis.

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31 minutes ago, Ron Cook said:

I had a real dandy just south of Applington in 2003.  A diagonal wire across the corner of the field.  I spent 5 weeks in the hospital....The airplane did not survive.

Ron

As in Aplington IA? 

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38 minutes ago, from H to 80 said:

You were about 2 miles from me an hour west of St. Louis.

The wife’s aunt and uncle have a place in Leasburg. We go out there a couple times a year.

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A friend of mine works for a spraying service and flies a Airtractor 802. He is always sending me pics that he or his wife takes of his "exploits'. Here while back he sent me this one after he flew through a flock of birds.

1025778331_birdstrike-seth.JPG.20b9ac18a4109c064ff1400a230f0710.JPG

 

Also a pic l took in the '60's of Lefty Gardner spraying cotton near our house. Lefty was in the right hand seat when Randy Sohn first flew Fifi from California to Texas. He also owned "White Lightning", a P-38 that he flew at airshows.

1995547994_LeftyGardner-early60s.thumb.JPG.a323769172f088be9b8145b12f5bdf45.JPG

 

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I was on USN ships with  helo's, twin gas turbine engines, ALL of them either crashed or had serious problems that grounded them while they were assigned to us.  One pilot I knew was killed in a crash. Within  3 weeks we had a new bird and a new crew.  

You don't need an enemy, they are the enemy.  BUT in all fairness, landing on a 65' X 65' (my guess) helo pad on a ship at night in heavy weather ain't the same as flying around in good weather while looking out for power lines. 

PERSONALLY with my experiences around helo's I would not even consider riding as a passenger on one. 

 

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Dad's 706 hope u don't mind a few pictures from 10 minutes ago when a local corn field was getting a fly over....

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You ought to be trying to sort wild Charolais in a tight corral with mud up to your hind pockets, and the crop duster uses your corral as the point of reference to turn at. ? Probably a good thing my rifle was in the other pickup!!

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There was a local ag pilot that lived nearby growing up. That guy was plum crazy. He since retired but we always figured he'd end up like the guy on Secondhand Lions. It wasn't uncommon to hear he broke off a fence post or something like that. He would fly fires for us quite often too.

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