1980 - Volume #4, Issue #4, Page #34[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
So You Want To Be An Ag Aviator
One of the good places to train as an ag pilot is at the University of Minnesota Technical College, Crookston. In a 2-year program, a student with no previous knowledge of flying can come out as a commercial pilot, aerial applicator, or flight instructor.
"We are probably the only public school offering this kind of course," says Larry Leake, a licensed instructor, commercial applicator and an instructor for the college. "Consequently, we get students from all over the country."
For Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota students, the tuition is $250 per year. Students from other states pay $700 per year for tuition. With flying fees tacked on to tuition, cost of the course, which includes 250 hours of flying time, can run in the neighborhood of $5,000 to $7,000.
"The agricultural aviation course qualifies a graduate to be an aerial applicator, aerial photographer, aviation sales representative, and the like," Leake points out. "He becomes certified as a private pilot, commercial pilot, aerial applicator, or flight instructor."
Students start out from "scratch" in pilot training after passing a routine medical examination for pilots. A typical. first year program would be ground school, private flight training, mathematics, crop production, biology, and agricultural chemicals. The second year would involve more flight training, plus courses on economics, soils, weed identification and business management. Each student also works 12 weeks on an intern program. Students who complete the entire program come out with a degree and are certified as pilots. The opportunities for employment are broad, and a first year aerial applicator can earn $15,000 or more during the application season.
For more details, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Office of Records and Registration, University of Minnesota Technical College, Crookston, Minn. 56716.
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