Crop dusting, a dangerous business

Louisiana residents are never surprised to see small aircraft flying overhead during the warm months of summer. Crop dusting is serious business for pilots in the area, and keeping soybeans and corn fields well fertilized and free of pests is a full-time job. Just as driving a car carries risks, air travel is no different, and for crop dusters, the long hours, low altitude and high speed can make for dangerous flying.

As you can imagine, the number of crop dusting accidents are nowhere near the number of accidents for other aircraft occupations. However, considering crop dusters make up such a small portion of pilots, any number of accidents is too many. For agriculturally dense states like Louisiana, roughly 20 percent of farm fields are dusted with something. Pilots traveling dangerously low, at speeds of 150 miles per hour, or more, make for some risky conditions.

Some pilots may feel confident in their ability to maneuver at low altitudes and react quickly to sudden obstructions. However, recent encroachment of weather and cell towers onto land that was once wide, open space, is presenting a new set of risks. For crop dusters, not only are the everyday aircraft risks still a concern, but added obstructions to their airspace means greater risk of a crash. For these pilots and their families, it is important to stay informed of new structures that may pose a threat to their safety. Negligence on behalf of the landowners may be in question if newly constructed towers are not made aware of the pilot.

Alleged negligence, resulting in personal injury may need the attention of a skilled injury attorney. For pilots, an attorney well versed in aviation law may be able to help identify negligence and seek compensation.

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