2018-2019 Program Summary

As it continues to be the world’s premier agricultural aviation education program, the 2018-2019 PAASS Program will present the module topics outlined below.

Agricultural Aviation’s Airfield Watch
Cybersecurity has become an important issue for everyone who uses a computer or mobile device, and the agricultural aviation industry is no exception. Aerial application operations use computers to handle financial transactions, order chemicals and fuel, and create work orders for the aircraft. A breach of any of these operations could result in a loss of money or the theft of materials. This session will review the basics of cybersecurity, including keeping software and operating systems up to date, dealing with suspicious emails, protecting mobile devices, and setting up a network.

Human Factors in Agricultural Aviation – “Controllability”
The Human Factors module will focus on controllability — what to do in the event there is an accident or mechanical malfunction which affects the aircraft in flight. Real-life stories from pilots who have experienced collisions with obstacles or an inflight mechanical failure will help the audience better understand how to handle these situations. The focus will be on the importance of considering how to handle different inflight emergencies ahead of the actual event. Participants will be encouraged to consider things like landing at an alternative airstrip better suited to handle their situation. Also covered will be the need to practice flying the aircraft using alternative methods, such as using the elevator trim tab in the event of elevator loss of control, should such an emergency occur.

Environmental Professionalism – “Dry Equipment Setup”
The Environmental Professionalism module will cover the proper setup for dry application equipment. Agricultural aircraft apply a variety of dry products, including fertilizers, pesticides, and seeds, and an on-target, uniform application is just as critical for these applications as it is for liquid applications. The importance of even flow of material from the gate and mounting of the spreader will be covered, as will adjusting the spreader fins to ensure a uniform pattern.

Hangar AG Flying – “Topics of Interest to Ag Operators”
This module will include an analysis of ag accidents that occurred during the 2018 application season. Studying these accidents enables attendees to learn from other pilots’ experiences and increase flying safety. During the 2017 season, we lost several pilots to weather-related incidents. Avoidance of low-level flying in foggy conditions will be discussed. Also covered will be how to dump a load in an emergency and land fully loaded should the need arise. This part of the module will cover both how to safely accomplish these tasks and how to train for them.

Ample time will be allowed during the entire program for attendee discussions and sharing of experiences involving issues and practices related to their own ag operations.