Education Sessions

NAAA Ag Aviation Expo
December 3–6, 2018 ♦ Reno, NV
Several educational sessions will be available throughout the Ag Aviation Expo. Educational Sessions are organized by NAAA with assistance from its Allied Industry Committee to provide information of general interest to the aerial application industry. Sessions are also organized by individual companies to showcase their particular products and services. Watch the schedule as it develops and plan to attend as many Educational Sessions as possible (CEUs may be available for some states).

2018 Ag Aviation Expo Educational Sessions are available on a first come, first serve basis. Contact Lindsay for availability. Company must be an Allied Industry member of NAAA and an exhibitor to host a company sponsored session. 

Please note the schedule for location of the Education Session. Sessions will take place at the Atlantis and Reno-Sparks Convention Center.

Sunday, Dec. 2
4:45 - 6:15 p.m.

Compaass Rose
Attend this session if you’re new to the industry or interested in becoming an ag pilot. Compaass Rose provides professional support and direction for newbies and those who want to learn more. Additional details on Compaass RosePlease note: This session is for attendees with five years or less of experience. 

Monday, Dec. 3
1 - 2:30 p.m. 

FAA/Security Session
Take advantage of this unique opportunity to ask questions and speak directly with federal agencies that have oversight over ag aviation operations in the U.S. An NTSB Aerospace Engineer will also give a short presentation on the use of CAM 8 weight increases and its possible effect on aircraft structural integrity that you will want to hear. 
Speakers: Joseph “Jody” Hemler, Jr., FAA Headquarters AFS-820 – Washington, DC; Jude Sellers – FAA Headquarters AFS-350 – Washington, DC; Jennifer Rodi – Senior Air Safety Investigator – NTSB – Denver, CO; Clinton Crookshanks – Aerospace Engineer – NTSB – Denver, CO 
AG-NAV Innovation Session
  1. Pilot Safety Enhancement with smart obstacle detection by using not only the 3D coordinates but also the approach angle; finding the closest airport and providing information in case of emergency landing; and possible accident detection by using abrupt deceleration and automatically sending SOS message to office staff.  
  2. New functions in AgNav guidance systems.
  3. New web app introduction for mission planning and post flight data processing.
Speaker:  Lai Nguyen, P.Eng.
Chem-Man Online Mapping and Billing Software Demonstration
Chem-Man Online offers a complete solution for ag operations from mapping/scheduling a job to transferring it to an invoice. There is a an easy GPS interface allowing you to download your gps files and then upload your log files. Multiple reports are great for bookkeeping and operations management. Quickbooks interface, inventory tracking, chemical database, weather importing, customer notifications are just a few things we offer at Chem-Man. Our development team are continually offering new features to make your life easier and also be more compliant.
Speaker: Regina Farmer, Datasmart Software

Monday, Dec. 3
2:45 - 4:15 p.m. 

Low-Level Obstacles Session
Speakers: Brad Anderson, Yamaha Motor Corporation; Robert Blair, Three Canyon Farms; Madison Dixon, Mississippi State University; Nicole Girvin, FAA, UAS Integration Office ;Michael Helvey, FAA Obstruction Evaluation Group (invited); Laurent Huenaerts, Unifly; Steve Willer, AirMap
This session will discuss the efforts underway to integrate unmanned aerial vehicles into the national airspace. It will also provide an update on the latest technologies being developed for UAS traffic management (UTM). This session will also include an update on the federal database required for towers under 200 feet.
TPE331 Session
An industry panel comprised of representatives from the OEM (Honeywell), designated overhaul facilities and FAA approved TPE-331 overhaul facilities. New technical data and updates will be provided, as well as Q&A for attendees. Please come prepared to ask questions and learn all you can.
Moderator: Bruce Hubler
Presentation Speaker: Griff Kinsinger, Honeywell
Panelists: Danny Moore, CD Aviation; Terry Cooley, CTEC; Neil James, Intercontinental Jet; Mark Richardson, Turbine Standard 
SATLOC Session
SATLOC Direction & Innovation
Speakers: Mike Thurman and Mitch Brown

Monday, Dec. 3
4:30 - 6 p.m.

PT6 Session
An industry panel comprised of representatives from Pratt & Whitney Canada, designated overhaul facilities and other PT6A overhaul facilities. New technical data will be provided, as well as Q&A for attendees.
Moderator: Fletcher Sharp, Covington Aircraft Engines
  • Yves Houde, Pratt & Whitney Canada
  • Ron Hollis, Covington Aircraft Engines
  • L D Blake, Prime Turbines
  • Wendel Lambert, Dallas Airmotive, Inc.
  • Jay Streb, Turbines, Inc.
Chemical Session
The chemical industry panel will provide company product innovations and updates with a focus on biologics. Attend this session to learn about the latest and greatest crop protection products on and about to hit the market.
Moderator: Tracy Norcross, Bayer CropScience
  • Matt Malone, BASF
  • Eric Honeycutt, Syngenta
  • FMC 
Insero Session: AgPilotX – Wireless GPS Guidance Driven through an iPad​
Attend this session to learn about the three Components:
  1. Wireless Lightbar* (with integrated GPS/GNSS and Antenna) 
  2. Controlled by an App on your iPad
  3. Wireless Hub** (8”x3”x3”) in the cockpit – plug-in meter, valve, switches, etc. 
*Small Helicopter Lightbar Available
**Internal Flow Control Option – no additional boxes
Presenters: Greg Guyette and Anthony Fay
"Ask the Expert" Speed Mentoring Session
If you’ve been in the industry less than five years, grab a seat at the table for the “Ask the Expert” Speed Mentoring Session, a fast-paced orientation session that provides new and prospective ag pilots with a quick 360-degree overview of what’s required and what it takes to work as a pilot in the agricultural aviation industry. A series of quick-hitting speed mentoring rounds will be led by experienced operators and pilots, insurance representatives and ag school representatives. This is your chance to pose questions to industry experts in a smaller group setting than Compaass Rose.

Tuesday, Dec. 4
7 - 8:30 a.m.

Transland Breakfast & Seminar 
Current tips and techniques for aerial dispersal\
Speaker: Dr. Dennis Gardisser

Wednesday, Dec. 5
8 - 9:30 a.m.

Helicopter Session 
The subjects for the helicopter session roundtable will be brought up by attendees! The person with the answer to your question may be sitting two chairs away from you!
Presenter: Jeff Reabe, Reabe Aircraft Improvement
GE's H-Series and M601 Engine Session
  • 8:00-8:45 a.m.: All GE-powered owners, operators, and service centers are invited to discuss engine line maintenance tips, best practices, and Q&A with customer support and field service teams.
  • 8:45-9:30 a.m.: Thrush’s dealers and GE service centers are invited for group discussions and product updates. 
Pratt & Whitney Engine Monitoring Solutions
Speaker: Tarek Nochahrli
USDA Aerial Image Processing Workshop  (runs until 10 a.m.)
Instructor: Chenghai Yang, USDA-ARS, Aerial Application Technology Research Unit, College Station, TX
In this workshop, we will demonstrate some of the image systems we have assembled for use on agricultural aircraft and provide up-to-date information on these systems. We will also demonstrate how to use the commercial image processing software Pix4DMapper to process a set of geotagged red-green-blue (RGB) and near-infrared (NIR) images acquired with a two-camera imaging system. We will show you how to mosaic the images and create normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) maps and prescription maps for site-specific chemical applications. All participants are welcome to attend the workshop if you are interested in seeing the camera systems and/or the process of converting aerial images into useful maps. For those of you who are interested in gaining some hands-on experience on image processing, please contact Chenghai Yang at to receive the instructions for downloading the software and sample images.

Wednesday, Dec.5
9:45 - 10:15 a.m.

Simplex Aerospace 2019 Innovation
In depth discussion and presentation about Simplex's new R66 spray system and other 2019 projects.   
Speaker: Casey Zimmerman
AgSync Session: 2019 New Features and the Future of AgSync
Don’t miss out on hearing all about AgSync Operator PRO. And how this app has grown to become an even more powerful Aerial Applicator tool. We will review these new features and share our company vision for the Future of AgSync.
Speaker: Clay Rassi
BASF Session
Speaker: Matt Malone

Wednesday, Dec. 5
4 - 5:30 p.m.

Compaass Rose
Attend this session if you’re new to the industry or interested in becoming an ag pilot. Compaass Rose provides professional support and direction for newbies and those who want to learn more. Additional details on Compaass RosePlease note: This session is for attendees with five years or less of experience.
Radial Engines Session
Discussion of Pratt & Whitney R-985 and R-1340 series of radial engines. Best operating experience/guidance and Q&A for attendees. Please come prepared to ask questions and learn all you can.
ASU Night Operations Safety Session
Aviation Specialties Unlimited (ASU), established in 1995 is a leading innovator in night vision imaging system design, manufacturing, installation, certification, sales, training and service. ASU safeguards the aerial applicators that protect our nation's crops and pollinators with onsite training, aircraft modification, service, and support. Attend this session to learn the benefits of flying at night (operational, environmental and community), safety benefits of using NVGs and ongoing considerations of sustaining NVG operations. If you can’t make the session, learn more at

Thursday, Dec. 6

8:45 - 10:15 a.m.
Air Tractor: Performance, By the Numbers
The session will provide information from Air Tractor for operators and pilots. Topics will include aircraft and parts production, what's new, maintenance and service tips, and Air Tractor's outlook for the future.
Speaker: Jim Hirsch
10:15 - 11:45 a.m.
Thrush Aircraft Session: Being the Best
Speaker: Eric Rojek
1:15 - 2:30 p.m.
NAAREF Safety Session

The 2018 NAAREF Safety Session will address fatigue, which has been an ongoing problem for agricultural aviators. Aerial application often requires working long hours to complete crop protection operations before the opportunity is lost. In addition to working long hours, busy parts of the season can result in a continuous run of long working days, further increasing the likelihood of fatigue. The NTSB conducted a study on the safety of agricultural aircraft operations and identified fatigue management as an important threat to ag pilots. Dr. Mark J. Ivey, a recognized expert in sleep medicine and a Senior Air Medical Examiner, will present insights into the effect of fatigue on a pilot’s ability to perform tasks required to safely operate an aircraft. Suggestions will be given about recognizing and coping with this potentially deadly threat to safety.
2:45 - 4:15 p.m.
Safety Management for Ag Operations

This presentation will dispel some of the myths about SMS and will explain how implementing an SMS into your organization can be beneficial and improve safety. We will also discuss the regulatory implications of voluntarily participating in the FAA SMS Programs.
Speaker: Michael Schwartz, Aviation Safety Inspector at FAA Headquarters