French helicopter lobby UFH and Alain Suguenot, a parliament member from France’s famous wine region, Burgundy, both have voiced concerns that the recent law banning most crop-dusting activities on environmental grounds may have counter-productive effects. According to Suguenot, for one hectare (about 2.5 acres) of vineyard, a helicopter uses only 16 gallons of liquid fertilizer, thanks to its pinpoint precision.
The NTSB has ruled that the air traffic controller’s failure to monitor the runway environment properly caused the accident between the landing Citation II/SP and a mowing tractor that was attempting to cross the runway. Contributing
Cessna Citation 550, Reading, Pa., Aug. 3, 2008– While landing at Reading Regional Airport/Carl A. Spatz Field, following a Part 91 positioning flight from Pottstown, Pa., the Citation II/SP was substantially damaged when it struck a mowing tractor during roll-out. According to the tower controller on duty at the time, the Citation crew contacted him at eight miles out and was issued clearance to land on Runway 31.
Bombardier CRJ200, Detroit, Mich., Nov. 18, 2008–In light rain and darkness, the Pinnacle Airlines regional jetliner collided with a ground tractor that was towing a baggage cart and suffered substantial damage after an early morning landing at Detroit’s Metro Wayne County Airport. The aircraft was cleared for taxi to the gate and was moving north to south “at a crawl,” according to the captain, when the tractor struck its left wing.
Cessna 550 Citation Bravo, Reading, Pa., Aug. 3, 2008–Two-thirds of the Bravo’s wing sheared off when the airplane hit a tractor while landing at Reading Regional Airport/Carl A. Spatz Field. The tower cleared the jet to land on Runway 31 at 3:15, and at 3:17, ground control cleared the tractor, which was mowing, to cross Runway 31 at Taxiway D.
Air Tractor of Olney, Texas, better known for its line of Air Tractor agplanes, is working on an amphibious 10-passenger turboprop called the S-22 Surveyor.
Development of the 10-passenger, single-turboprop S-22 by agplane builder Air Tractor of Olney, Texas, slowed last year due to the company’s focus on providing a highly modified version of its AT-802 to the U.S. government for drug crop eradication in Colombia, according to Kristin Snow, communications director and daughter of founder and president Leland Snow.
In an unusual move, Air Tractor has established a college education fund for children of pilots who are killed in accidents involving the company’s aerial application aircraft. The fund is being financed from the profit on sales of Air Tractor replacement batteries. According to a company executive in Olney, Texas, there has been an average of five to six fatal accidents annually in the last five years.