Lane Aviation, Inc. recently hosted local high school students that were exploring career paths within their community. Lane Aviation’s Logan Lane led the presentation that included tours and live demonstrations of the Air Tractor 502XP.
“Throughout the whole presentation, I had a 502XP and -34AG engine in front of them to expand further on how the engine operates and what the different parts of the plane are used for. At the end, some students came up to look inside the cockpit and ask more questions. A handful seemed to show some genuine interest in it or at least in aviation as a whole. We wrapped it up with a Lane Aviation pilot performing a demo in the XP with a few passes, then dumping a couple hundred gallons of water down the runway,” commented Lane.
Some highlights of the presentation included (sourced from information provided by the National Agricultural Aviation Association):
– History of aerial application: Lt. John Mcready and early aircraft used
– Scope of industry: 20% of crop treatments, roughly 71 million acres covered, crops treated in southeast Texas (cotton, rice, soybeans, milo, corn)
– Advantages of aerial applications: useful in rougher terrains, no soil erosion, fastest method, extremely precise with modern technologies
– Job opportunities in the field: operator, pilot, mechanic, ground crew, sales
– Ag pilots: requirements to fly ag, typical day during the season, mentality and attitude required
– Routes into the industry: working up through a company, college degrees, private ag aviation schools
– Crucial role that ag aviation plays in agricultural production as a whole
– Other uses for ag pilots/aircraft: firefighting, drug eradication, military, fuel transport, ferry pilots.
The crew at Lane Aviation believe the presentations educated local area schools that often see ongoing daily operations of Lane Aviation’s aircraft working nearby fields. Some students have even returned to the airstrip to express additional interest in agricultural aviation.