timz
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Is This Legal? (Pic: Cropduster Under Wires)

Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:59 pm

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevin_lee_photography/6381044833

If it is legal, do many cropdusters do it?
 
Airontario
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RE: Is This Legal? (Pic: Cropduster Under Wires)

Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:04 pm

Im not all that familiar with crop dusting since it isn't very common where I live. But Im fairly sure that's a pretty common occurance in Saskatchewan and I assume through much of the North American Prairies.
 
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readytotaxi
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RE: Is This Legal? (Pic: Cropduster Under Wires)

Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:04 pm

Other way round.

If it is illegal, do many cropdusters get caught?
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N1120A
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RE: Is This Legal? (Pic: Cropduster Under Wires)

Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:22 pm

Quoting readytotaxi (Reply 2):
If it is illegal, do many cropdusters get caught?

Addendum - how many crop duster pilots actually have pilot licenses?
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northstardc4m
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RE: Is This Legal? (Pic: Cropduster Under Wires)

Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:25 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 3):
Addendum - how many crop duster pilots actually have pilot licenses?

Most if not all.

I don't know about in the states, but in Canada it is not "illegal", and planes have hit wires, pilots have been killed in the resulting crashes.

Crop Dusting is one of those things that skirts the regulations in many ways to get the job done. I am aware that crop dusters have been grounded for infractions like flying over a school too low, but I don't think power lines have any exemption?
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micstatic
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RE: Is This Legal? (Pic: Cropduster Under Wires)

Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:25 pm

they operate under FAR P137. Yes they have pilot licenses. Probably the hardest flying out there.
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OldAeroGuy
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RE: Is This Legal? (Pic: Cropduster Under Wires)

Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:30 pm

Growing up in Arkansas during the '50's, I saw Stearmans flying under the wires on many occasions. And not these high tension wires that are far off the ground. It was wires supported by wooden poles carrying power and telephone connections to individual farmhouses.
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northstardc4m
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RE: Is This Legal? (Pic: Cropduster Under Wires)

Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:34 pm

Quoting OldAeroGuy (Reply 6):
It was wires supported by wooden poles carrying power and telephone connections to individual farmhouses.

Yikes... the phone lines near my grand-parents farm were about 15' up off the driveway... and considering the crown of the road was probably 2" higher than that... yea crop dusters iz nutz!
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N1120A
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RE: Is This Legal? (Pic: Cropduster Under Wires)

Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:41 pm

Quoting NorthStarDC4M (Reply 4):
Most if not all.
Quoting micstatic (Reply 5):
they operate under FAR P137. Yes they have pilot licenses.

They should have licenses. They are required to have licenses. That said, there are plenty of pilots flying low in the sticks of the Midwest that don't have licenses.
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nomadd22
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RE: Is This Legal? (Pic: Cropduster Under Wires)

Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:42 pm

Not much is exactly legal about cropdusters, but to release their load at the right place they have to perform some pretty risky manuevers. Some substances have to be let loose at extremely low altitudes. They often have a truck at the edge of the field to guide on and can miss him by yards when they pull up. Farming gets quite a few blind eyes for things that would get you thrown in jain in town.
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OldAeroGuy
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RE: Is This Legal? (Pic: Cropduster Under Wires)

Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:48 pm

Quoting NorthStarDC4M (Reply 7):
Quoting OldAeroGuy (Reply 6):
It was wires supported by wooden poles carrying power and telephone connections to individual farmhouses.

Yikes... the phone lines near my grand-parents farm were about 15' up off the driveway... and considering the crown of the road was probably 2" higher than that... yea crop dusters iz nutz!

Pretty much the way it was. They had to be sure there was no car on the road. It was very impressive to a 12 year old.
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Nwafan20
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RE: Is This Legal? (Pic: Cropduster Under Wires)

Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:49 pm

Here is what the FAR's have to say (at least pt 91) about Minimum Safe Altitudes:

Sec. 91.119 — Minimum safe altitudes: General.
Except when necessary for takeoff or landing, no person may operate an aircraft below the following altitudes:

(a) Anywhere. An altitude allowing, if a power unit fails, an emergency landing without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface.

(b) Over congested areas. Over any congested area of a city, town, or settlement, or over any open air assembly of persons, an altitude of 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet of the aircraft.

(c) Over other than congested areas. An altitude of 500 feet above the surface, except over open water or sparsely populated areas. In those cases, the aircraft may not be operated closer than 500 feet to any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure.

(d) Helicopters, powered parachutes, and weight-shift-control aircraft. If the operation is conducted without hazard to persons or property on the surface—

(1) A helicopter may be operated at less than the minimums prescribed in paragraph (b) or (c) of this section, provided each person operating the helicopter complies with any routes or altitudes specifically prescribed for helicopters by the FAA; and

(2) A powered parachute or weight-shift-control aircraft may be operated at less than the minimums prescribed in paragraph (c) of this section.


The parts of this section that apply are: A and C.

As far as A is concerned, he is operating in open fields so I would say he could carry out a landing without undue hazard to persons or property. As for C, he is in sparsely populated areas, so the entirety of legality pretty much comes down to if you consider a power line a "structure". Even if it is considered a structure, pretty much everyone is going to turn a blind eye to it.


EDIT: See below

[Edited 2012-03-21 10:01:19]
 
Nwafan20
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RE: Is This Legal? (Pic: Cropduster Under Wires)

Wed Mar 21, 2012 5:00 pm

Ahh, found the exception:

Sec. 137.49 — Operations over other than congested areas

Notwithstanding part 91 of this chapter, during the actual dispensing operation, including approaches, departures, and turnarounds reasonably necessary for the operation, an aircraft may be operated over other than congested areas below 500 feet above the surface and closer than 500 feet to persons, vessels, vehicles, and structures, if the operations are conducted without creating a hazard to persons or property on the surface.
 
N766UA
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RE: Is This Legal? (Pic: Cropduster Under Wires)

Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:04 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 3):
Addendum - how many crop duster pilots actually have pilot licenses?

100%. Crop dusters are small business owners, too, and it's absolutely NOT in their best interest to put themselves out of business.

And they do it all the time, fly under wires. They also have to fly very low in order to properly spray their fields, and thus are excepted from normal altitude and distance requirements. These guys are great pilots, they're a blast to watch.
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