NARDO Ag operations at municipal airport

Discussion in 'Lessons Learned' started by Ken Thompson, Jul 3, 2017.

  1. Doggtyred

    Doggtyred En-Route

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    Subsidized as in "at cost" rather than the typical 1-2 dollar per gallon markup that FBO's typically provide. Its a county by county thing. I know of one county where it was the case. Was.. the manager isn't there anymore.. so.. who knows.
     
  2. brian]

    brian] Cleared for Takeoff

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    Don't the ag guys fly jet-a burners?
     
  3. Dr. O

    Dr. O Pattern Altitude

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    Same deal at my airport which has a 5000 foot runway, ILS, yadda yadda. When the dusters are operating for the week doing mosquito bombing they come from every direction, land every whichaway, and do not use the CTAF - but there is constant chatter on their working frequency. There are usually 4 to 7 planes operating at our base so you watch one take off as you taxi to the runway, then 'he' appears over the trees and lands again (not the same plane)
    I had a friendly discussion with one. His position was, the meter is running every second, he WILL see you up against the sky or down on the airport long before you see him (if you do or even if you don't), the FAA understands how spray planes operate and there are letters of understanding.
    So my working method is simply operate my airplane, avoid him if I see him, and don't worry be happy, mon.
     
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  4. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Some do. I was out in Broken Bow Nebraska once and they had all these turbine ayers thrushes going in and out of there.

    Amusingly that was the day that I found out one of AmEx's security algorithms. It appears that when you buy breakfast in Oshkosh, lunch in Broken Bow, and then try to buy $2000 in liquor in Fort Collins at about 4PM (none of which have commercial air service), AmEx thinks there might be a problem with your card.
     
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  5. brian]

    brian] Cleared for Takeoff

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    $2000 for booze. Yep, I'll be over later!


    I was thinking about this thread this afternoon. I was approaching a small airport for gas today and noticed an ag cat spraying a field in the pattern for the east/west runway. So I adjusted for the north/south runway. Wouldn't you know, another ag cat was spraying another field in the pattern there!


    With a little adjustment, I timed my pattern and came in without scraping any yellow (them) or red paint (me).

    Taking off, those suckers were all over the place- each landing on a different runway and heading for the truck. I had gas and departed before they were ready to go.

    Fun to watch when they are out spraying. Almost looks like fun. But I bet the fun wears off real quick.
     
  6. Just sayin'

    Just sayin' Guest

    Three times in my 25+ years of flying I've had NORDO ag operators land opposite direction, over the top of me, while I was rolling out on the runway immediately after landing. Twice in southern Arkansas, once in NE Louisiana.

    Three times in my 25+ years of flying I've called the FSDO.

    Just sayin'
     
  7. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    It was my daughter's wedding. I called AmEx and they kept asking "Are you in possession of your card?" I kept explaining that yes I was in all those locations in the course of eight hours or whatever.

    I was approaching FISK one time coming into Oshkosh and there was a plane doing something goofy down to my right. I thought "Here's a guy who really doesn't understand the NOTAM until I realized he was dusting crops in one of the fields adjacent to the course.
     
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  8. Norman

    Norman En-Route

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    Final opinion:

    The original poster's name is either Oscar or Felix.

    Grumpy old men prevail.
     
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  9. Jay Honeck

    Jay Honeck Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Hard to imagine a pilot THAT dumb and/or oblivious.

    Let's see...the busiest airspace IN THE WORLD is overhead. Yeah, let's go dust those fields today!
     
  10. Jimmy cooper

    Jimmy cooper Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Just as dumb.....a year or so ago, bonanza pilot on long straight in, not using radio. Student and instructor turning final and were transmitting, flying a 152. Bonanza ran over them in the air, killed all three. Impossible to see thru the bottom of a bonanza .this was on POA. ( uncontrolled airport) same with MU2 that was long final , 152 regular pattern, not communicating , at last minute MU2 spotted the 152, pilot tried to go round, MU2 stalled, went inverted , crashed killing pilot , woman owner of airplane (a DuPont , ) and friend. Needless accidents. Real dumb. ( pilot of MU2 , 14000 hours with many in type.)FAA reports that most GA midairs happen in like circumstances near uncontrolled airports.
     
  11. nauga

    nauga Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    It's a shame some people have real work to do that week.

    Nauga,
    and first-world problems
     
  12. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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    Not enough information in the original post (below) to say whether there was a safety hazard. As you've been to Oshkosh, you'll know better than I that one should be at 1800' or higher MSL at FISK, about 1000' AGL. As they were before FISK, those planes arriving KOSH should have been well above those dusters. Keep in mind a lot of those compounds need calm wind for application, and can be applied only at certain stages of plant growth, so they don't have much choice about when to apply. The KOSH tower may have known of the dusters anyway.

    https://www.eaa.org/~/media/files/airventure/flyingin/2017-airventure-notam-final- 03-29-17.pdf
     
  13. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The guy was between Ripon and Fisk and off to the side (and as Jack points out, low). He wasn't impacting the arrival other than my momentary thought that he was some goofball trying to join the arrival in some odd fashion. That was one of the days I was doing multiple rides and I think on subsequent trips FISK warned people about the spraying.
     
  14. Duster

    Duster Filing Flight Plan

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    First post here, but I've followed this forum for awhile.

    I'm sorry that some of y'all have had negative experiences with AG Pilots. It is unfortunate, that some believe there is a high level of arrogance in our profession; wait are we talking about pilots? Seriously though, that has not been my experience, most of us are pretty humble, or are fixing to be haha. Aviation is full of so many good people, like nothing else I've ever been a part of, AG is no exception.

    I fly a fairly new turbine ship, it has zero radios. When flying into our private strips, we do whatever approach is most efficient. Some of our locations are at municipal airports, and personally, I fly a standard pattern if approaching at an angle to active landing runway. If it is safe and more efficient, will do a straight in approach. In my experience, that is how most turbine/commercial aircraft operate at uncontrolled airports. The exception being, we are often Nordo, which is unique in commercial ops.

    Downwind landings are not even a thought to most AG pilots, until winds are over at least 10 knots. In my personal ship (C-180), I fly the same way, downwind just isn't that big of a deal. At a somewhat busy airport, always land the active runway, but if it's a sleepy small town muni, then whatever is more practical for less taxi etc.

    Where there is one AG plane, there are usually more. As Nordo aircraft, we are extremely vigilant, we want to swap paint just as bad as you do! It is very common for an AG plane to have no COM radio, and sometimes even no work radio. It's obvious how this could be uncomfortable for pilots that are used to towered airports, but that just means you should consider further training for non-towered airport operations with a knowledgeable CFI. Experience, training, and education are the cornerstone of what we do as aviators.

    On the internets, it's easy to misinterpret written word. I hope that everyone who reads this understands that I mean no disrespect, and have nothing but good intentions.

    Just remember, there is not an AG pilot in the world who has not worked extremely hard, and gone through a ton of training, to get where they are. I know some that even fly Cirrus and Bonanzas in their spare time, don't ask me why


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  15. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    I'm an Ag pilot too. I liked your post. I will tell you I think we should be willing to hold our colleagues accountable to fly stand patterns when at municipal airports. You know how hard it is to maintain our reputation in today's society. Many judge use without any knowledge of what we do, how we do it or the tools we use. We need every person we can to be on our side. I'm glad that you personally use a standard pattern when out in the real world in your Ag airplane. Now go out and spread the word with your buddies that may not. It's important for us to remember 137 only applies during application. All airport ops are part 91. We get no special dispensation as Ag pilots.

    I
     
  16. tspear

    tspear Pre-takeoff checklist

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    137? Curious...

    Tim

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  17. Plano Pilot

    Plano Pilot Pre-Flight

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    FAR Part 137 - AGRICULTURAL AIRCRAFT OPERATIONS
     
  18. tspear

    tspear Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Sorry, should have been more specific. Google got me that much. I was curious how the 137 affects or does not affect the part 91 reference he made at municipal airports.

    Tim

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  19. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Part 137 allows us to operate within the 500' buffer normally given to houses, people etc. it also provides a process for operating in contested areas. It only applies while we are directly engaged in spraying operations. Takeoff, landing and ferrying to-from the field are regulated by part 91.

    My point was the regulation that gives us authorization to fly like crazy bastards in the field doesn't apply at the airport. We have to use standard patterns and procedures at municipal airports just like everyone else. It's not a matter of personal preference or politeness. It's a regulatory requirement.
     
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  20. brian]

    brian] Cleared for Takeoff

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    Question (now that we have some folks "in the know"): how complicated does it get when the field is adjacent to the municipal airport? Regulations are one thing, but what do us weekend warriors need to understand?

    I can think of two in Central Arkansas where I've had an Ag Cat spraying a field adjacent to the runway I was landing on. Seeing the shadow of the Ag Cat on the runway in front of me was a bit uncomfortable, but I looked up and he/she was not a factor. (It was just the angle of the sun.)

    I guess this all boils down to not understanding what the other monkey is about to do....
     
  21. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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  22. Jay Honeck

    Jay Honeck Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You are correct, those of us on the FISK arrival into OSH should be way above any dusters, and they should be no factor.

    In the real world, however, I have seen pilots flying the approach at anywhere from 500' AGL and up. I also know that the area around Ripon is the hardest, most congested part of the arrival, because that's where hundreds of planes are aiming to get in line up the tracks.

    It is really the only part of the arrival procedure that I would call "difficult" or "risky", simply because of the sheer numbers of aircraft who are all aiming for the same 3 meter spot in the sky. (Yes, guys use GPS to find it.)

    So, imagine that you've got hundreds of aircraft being flown by amateur pilots (like me), all aimed for the same dot. The ceiling may be marginal, the visibility may not be great, stress levels are high. It's simplicity itself, yet you're on hair trigger alert to see and avoid and you're jockeying for spacing.

    Now, throw in a crop duster popping up and doing a wing-over turn-around. It probably isn't going to kill anyone, but it sure as hell is going to scare the crap out of a few people.

    Given the small area involved, and the brief timeframe, it would seem prudent for dusters to avoid the area for a few days.
     
  23. N3368K

    N3368K Line Up and Wait

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    Most ag operations, including ferry to and from fields is at 500' AGL in my experience. Well below OSH traffic.
     
  24. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    Tough choice..... Go to Oshkosh or watch dusters at work.....

    Sorry OSH.... I'm going to watch the real airshow.!!
     
  25. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Sometimes we can't wait a couple of days. But it is easy enough to call atc and let them know what's up so there is a notice on the arrival info about Ag activity. If it's not time sensitive work then waiting is the best option.
     
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  26. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    Nardo's a she.

    [​IMG]
     
  27. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    work the spray pattern so it's minimally invasive to traffic patterns. Use the radio. Keep the head on a swivel.

    On a side note I have flown Ag planes without radios but it's not the norm for me. If I'm staying in the seat I'm willing to put the radios in myself if the boss isn't willing. I have a little rack that's easy to instal and remove. I don't fly without radios if I can help it.
     
  28. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner En-Route

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    That's why I quit flying VFR in Wisconsin during Oshkosh week (or thereabouts) in 1996.
     
  29. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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    500' should still put them above most of the aerial application operations.

    Note- the bolded text...many of these compounds have restrictions in application. They can only be applied no later than a certain time before harvest, for example. For example, dimethyl[(1,2-phenylene)- bis(iminocarbonothioyl)]bis[carbamate], a fungicide applied by plane, can't be applied to soybeans later than 14 days after pods are 1/4 inch in length. Considering they need calm air so it doesn't blow onto another farm, their time to apply this stuff can be limited. They also don't want to apply it just before it rains lest it be washed off. The plants are growing and the bugs or fungus won't wait. Harvest is coming, and they need certain weather conditions to apply- they really can't wait for Airventure to end- the farmer needs the application now or he loses his crop. I'm sure the dusters don't like working under a lot of "once-a-year" flyers either.
     
  30. mkosmo

    mkosmo Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Am I the only one who has never had a near-miss at ELA?
     
  31. champ driver

    champ driver Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That's the NARDO I remember!
     
  32. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Says more about current society than you guys.

    They're all very concerned with all the rules you're not breaking, and their compulsive need to tell everyone about it, while knowing absolutely nothing about your business.
     
  33. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Very true. unfortunately we have given their voice to much influence. As a society we used to marginalize people with stupid opinions based on emotion instead of fact. Now we put them in office to be our leaders.

    I'm going to buy more ammo
     
  34. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    More ammo is fine. Reloading brass is more better.
     
  35. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    My round of choice comes from mother Russia. In steel cases. No reloading for me.