Agricultural aircraft manufacturer Thrush received full type certification from Brazil’s civil aviation authority (ANAC) for its new GE H80-powered 510G turboprop single. The airframer hails the approval as a major milestone, since the need for agricultural aircraft in the South American country is expected to escalate rapidly over the next decade as operators replace their aging fleets. Thrush is not a newcomer to Brazil, as its Pratt & Whitney Canada-powered 510P has been in operation in the country for many years.
Cropdusters fondly call their craft the back-and-forth business. Or at least “aerial application,” hoping to dust off their perception as noxious tumbleweeds. In the days following September’s terrorist attacks, aerial applicators operating under FAR Part 137, except those in firefighting, were more down-and-out than back-and-forth.
Salaried pilots who fly air taxis, bush aircraft and crop dusters have the highest occupational death rate–92.4 for every 100,000 pilots–tied with the rate for logging workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The agency said the aircraft these pilots fly can be “old and the maintenance less stringent than among the big airliners, adding to the danger.”