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Part 91 and Low Time Jump pilots, crop dusting, and other Part 91 jobs

Crop dusting and banner tow

Old 05-01-2007, 12:34 AM
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Default Crop dusting and banner tow

i was curious as to what a crop duster salary is as well as a banner tow pilot makes, I have seen a lot about salaries as to what pilots of regional and major airlines make.
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Old 05-01-2007, 04:52 AM
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I used to get $15 an hour to fly banners. I quit after two weeks because I had all of 25 hours after doing it full time. The typical firm pays as little as it takes to keep some bottomfeeder on staff, and they aren't particulary worried if he or she leaves after a month because anyone can replace them. The fat-tired O-360 Supercub with climb prop was pretty cool in that job though, it could do a wheels up to pattern altitude in about 6 seconds. I used to fly at stall speed with a banner and let it stall for fun. The plane would drop about a foot, then start flying again. I never tried any of the high volume coastal firms, but I doubt they even pay minimum wage when you tally it up.

Try skydive piloting, it's a much better gig for hobby flyers.

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Old 05-01-2007, 10:21 AM
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Hey schesslinger,I dont know about banner towing but ag pilots can make pretty good money. Low end about twenty thous. High end up to one seventy five thousand. The trouble today is that most of the two to four plane operators have cut their fleet size in half, therefore a lot of good experienced pilots are looking for the good seats that sometimes come open. The operators are replacing the smaller planes with bigger turbine powered planes that are capable of doing double or more work. Having said that, it is not impossible to find a job. Just got to get out there and stop and visit with the se guys. I know a lot of guys that started on the ground crew and worked there way up. Me included. Hope this helps, T.C. Forgot, most ag jobs will pay you a % of what your plane grosses. 15% low end 30% highend.
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Old 05-01-2007, 04:24 PM
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I think you guys provided me with the correct answers that I needed to know. I'm not sure yet if I want to pursue doing those two options I know that I would like to be a cfi, i suppose one could do all three cfi,cropdusting and banner tow as part time jobs.
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Old 05-01-2007, 05:32 PM
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As far as cropdusting goes it is not that easy to get into as stated above. I talked with a few guys who had to do a season mixing chemicals and loading the plane before they ever got a chance to fly. Not to mention most of those guys are on the road alot.

If you have your tailwheel and around 300-500 hours I would give Van Wagners down in KHWO a call. They fly some souped up cubs and I think they start you out at about 20 bucks and hour and pay for your housing while your one the road. I was told to expect about 500 hours a season (by someone who flew their the previous year). If anyone tries to tell you they want you to pay for your training, walk away. Would have loved to done that but was offered something better before I went down south.

Stay away from this place!!!

http://www.aerialmessages.com/

Here are some of his exploits!!

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Old 05-01-2007, 06:01 PM
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Banner Tow Pilots Average 100 to 250 hours per month at $12 to $28 per hour
*from the aerialmessage website*

so...250 hours per month. If you flew 30 days straight you would be flying 8.3 hours per day....sounds reasonable to me! What a great statement

I also like the pay scale....that is a pretty impressive range I believe the 12 dollars but I have a feeling the 28 is a mythical made up number...
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Old 05-01-2007, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by usmc-sgt View Post
*from the aerialmessage website*

so...250 hours per month. If you flew 30 days straight you would be flying 8.3 hours per day....sounds reasonable to me! What a great statement

I also like the pay scale....that is a pretty impressive range I believe the 12 dollars but I have a feeling the 28 is a mythical made up number...
Depends at a few places if you come back for a second season they pay around 40/hr. The guy who gave me my tailwheel told me if I got some experience he would hire me at $40/hr also.
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Old 05-01-2007, 06:21 PM
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Im in the wrong place then...I should be towing a banner. I currently have 45 tailwheel, probably enough to get the ball rolling
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Old 05-01-2007, 07:15 PM
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USMC-SGT -> PM sent
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Old 05-02-2007, 05:59 AM
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Low end about twenty thous. High end up to one seventy five thousand.
$175,000 crop dusting? don't think so....


I used to fly at stall speed with a banner and let it stall for fun. The plane would drop about a foot, then start flying again.
If you were towing a banner at stall speed that you were doing something wrong.

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