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Crop Dusters Are Necessary To Farmers

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No matter how advanced agriculture gets, there are some things that are always going to need to be done. One of those things is aerial application of certain pesticides, insecticides, fertilizers, and other products. To get that, farmers need to have crop dusters, also called agricultural pilots.

Crop Dusters

Crop dusters are pilots who fly at extremely low altitudes so that they can spray products over the fields. That low altitude is generally just feet above the crops or fields that they are spraying. It needs to be so close so that the products are properly applied to the fields and not blown away by the wind. Not every pilot can be a crop duster. It takes a lot of work and a lot of schooling in order to become an agricultural pilot. 

FAA Commerical Pilot's License

The first thing that anyone wanting to be a crop duster needs to do is become a licensed commercial pilot. To do that, a person needs to go to a FAA accredited school to learn how to fly. There are a lot of other things that someone has to do to get their license. That includes passing a medical exam, holding an instrument rating for flight, which allows pilots to fly in low-visibility settings, and to accrue 250 flight hours. At that point, the pilot will have to pass a qualification flight with a FAA inspector. 

Agricultural Pilot Training

Once the crop duster-to-be holds their commercial pilot's license, they are going to need to enter an agricultural pilot's training program. That program will teach the pilot a lot of things. That includes information about all the different products they may use and the environmental impact that the products may cause. The pilot will also learn how to operate the various kinds of machinery that they will need in order to spray the crops. The training program will also have some practical sections. That can include practicing the low-altitude flight in a simulator and flying with an experienced crop duster to see how everything works. After the trainee has done that for awhile, they may still fly under the supervision of a more experienced pilot until they have enough flight hours under their wing. 

Agricultural pilots are an important part of farming and other agricultural services. Not just anyone can start flying as a crop duster. It takes proper training and a lot of practice. For more information, contact establishments like Institute of Aviation at Parkland College.