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Published on Apr 27, 2010
Visit HAI member, Aspen Helicopters Inc., whose agricultural services division performs aerial application missions throughout Southern California. Helicopters are used to apply a variety of liquid-based products including water, pesticide, fertilizer, and seed solutions to help farmers grow and protect their crops.
The pilot uses a specialized on-board GPS to track his progress and see which areas of a field have been or still need to be treated. The helicopter is particularly well suited for this job due to it's maneuverability in confined spaces and its ability to land on site. This means that its payload can be refilled or swapped out without having to fly back to an airport or runway.
Aerial application is precise work that demands a lot of control, experience, and planning. Low-level flying is uniquely exciting but something best left to trained professionals in controlled environments, so instead, enjoy it vicariously through this video.