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Old 06-14-2009, 05:48 PM   #1  
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Default How to get a job crop dusting?

Don't ask me why I'm interested lets just say i could never see myself flying for an airline. I find the idea of crop dusting very appealing. Its my kind of flying. I'm going to graduate school with a commercial, instrument rating, Multi rating, CFI CFII MEI all that good stuff. About 260 TT hopefully I'll have clocked around 100 tailwheel. My question is what else is required of me? I know from research I have to have some license involving the chemicals? Should I go through an ag pilot course first? Or just look for a place to load chemicals for a season? Not much info on how to get into this field on the internet. I seem to remember Agrinaut on here being a duster and he was very helpful with some of my other questions. I appreciate your help guys!
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Old 06-14-2009, 09:34 PM   #2  
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Not very easy to break into. In California, you actually have to apprentice with a state-licensed sprayer before you can go out on your own. Someone would have to trust you (ie know you) and be able to insure you. I suspect you would need taildragger and/aerobatic time.

Ag pilots often go to ag colleges and get ag degrees, and are often farm boys.

If you want to work for yourself, you will need an airplane, support equipment, and staff. The airplanes themselves run a million or two these days.
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Old 06-14-2009, 10:43 PM   #3  
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Originally Posted by Razorback09 View Post
Don't ask me why I'm interested lets just say i could never see myself flying for an airline. I find the idea of crop dusting very appealing. Its my kind of flying. I'm going to graduate school with a commercial, instrument rating, Multi rating, CFI CFII MEI all that good stuff. About 260 TT hopefully I'll have clocked around 100 tailwheel. My question is what else is required of me? I know from research I have to have some license involving the chemicals? Should I go through an ag pilot course first? Or just look for a place to load chemicals for a season? Not much info on how to get into this field on the internet. I seem to remember Agrinaut on here being a duster and he was very helpful with some of my other questions. I appreciate your help guys!

Its definitely not easy to get into, but not impossible. I have a friend that just started crop dusting this summer. He went to a crop dusting "school" of sorts last summer and spent the year building time and practicing low level flying and maneuvering. You need to get your tailwheel, high performance, and experience in a few different planes that are common (all which you get at the school). I think you end up with about 30 hours (10 hours in each aircraft). You will need to continue to build tailwheel time to meet insurance requirements, maybe around 150hrs or so, I'm not sure. If you can find a busniess to fly with using their aircraft, that would probably be best. My friend bought his own plane, a Cessna AgWagon, for $70,000 (has an IO-540 with a 3-blade prop, sick airplane!) and flys for a guy in montana. Talked to him about a week ago and he said he enjoys it.

Hope this helps, good luck!
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Old 06-15-2009, 01:05 AM   #4  
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Why not go to nearby aerial application companies and talk to the old hands. They can probably give you a very good idea of what it takes. Heck, one of them might take you under his wing.
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Old 03-05-2010, 12:22 AM   #5  
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The higher the plane value is, the more you will make. If you buy a 1 million dollar plane, you will surely make well over 100k.
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Old 03-05-2010, 01:41 AM   #6  
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The higher the plane value is, the more you will make. If you buy a 1 million dollar plane, you will surely make well over 100k.
Surely that is about the funniest thing I've read all week. Buying a 1 million dollar airplane is not gong to garantie you anything but 1 million + dollars of debt.

I've got some friends in the business. Most will start the new guys off seeding if they can the fly in ointment is obtaining insurance for a new guy. Most are uninsurable and are forced to buy their own airplane and self insure initially.

But you can buy an older recip for far less than million or two as has been posted here.

You can get into an Ag-wagon or a Pawnee for well under a 100K. Also keep in mind that most aerial application fatalities happen within the first 5 years of experience.

Good luck it a tough but not impossible goal.
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Old 03-05-2010, 08:43 AM   #7  
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You're gonna need alot more than 2 or 300hrs to be insurable. I have a few buddies that AG fly and they have more than 10,000hrs of flight time. I asked about it and was told I would need a spray license and also tail wheel/aerobatic indorsement. Finally, I was told I needed about aother 1000hrs of flight time (currently at 3000hrs).

This is in California and one company only. Try flying banners somewhere like VanWagner! They'll train you and pay for your tailwheel training. Good luck.
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Old 03-09-2010, 04:20 PM   #8  
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For starters--don't call it "crop dusting" anymore. Very few dustings these days.
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Old 03-09-2010, 05:12 PM   #9  
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For starters--don't call it "crop dusting" anymore. Very few dustings these days.
What is the in-vouge term nowadays? Aerial spraying/application?

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Old 03-09-2010, 05:30 PM   #10  
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Custom Aerial Application
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