Aircraft: Piper Tomahawk. Injuries: 1 Minor. Location: Corona, Calif. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: After flying for about an hour, the pilot entered the pattern to land. During the approach the engine lost power. Unable to restart the engine, or make it to the runway, he performed a forced landing into an adjacent field, where the airplane sustained substantial damage.
By TRACY T. THURMAN
An ag pilot’s day starts early, just as the sun lifts itself above the horizon. It’s cool in the morning. The air is clean and crisp. Standing on a dew sparkled grass runway watching the landscape emerge into the light of a new day is part of an ag pilot’s daily commute.
The morning calm however, is soon broken by a demanding shout. “Clear!” The ‘tick tick tick tick… whirrrr…’ of a turboprop engine coming to life shatters the serenity and the work day has begun.
All across the country, on air strips in rural valleys and farmlands, the same procedure is repeated. There are millions of acres that need to be planted, treated, and protected. Before most people have had their first cup of coffee, the men and women of agricultural aviation are in motion doing just that.
I am a creature of habit. I have been watching the national and local evening news on TV most every evening for more than 50 years. The local news informs me about the weather and other things, and the national news keeps me informed on some of the things that are going on in the world.
In the past, the national news was more or less factual and informative. But now with several cable all-news networks, the news business has become more theater than informative.
Headsets are a lot like underwear…very personal yet very important. Some pilots like style, some look for quiet, and some lead with price, but all pilots look for comfort. And to make it difficult for the manufacturers, no headset fits two heads the same.
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx is confirmed as the keynote speaker on Nov. 5 at the National Air Transportation Association’s 2014 Aviation Business Roundtable.