Home-EditorialsHours vs. Seasons vs. Years

Hours vs. Seasons vs. Years

To be a professional ag-pilot, it takes experience in all elements of time. For me, I used only to log flight time annually. The FAA told me otherwise. However, logging every flight mission to comply with an FAA inspector didn’t last. It was never brought up again, so I returned to logging annually. However, logging your flight time is essential, regardless if it’s every mission or annually, or something in between. If for nothing else, it makes for good reading during retirement.

There is more to flight experience than an hour in a logbook. An accumulation of flight hours resulting in a season better represents one’s level of experience. Logging is a documented record of flight experience. In comparison, a completed season represents many learning experiences, a much more complete representation of one’s abilities as an ag-pilot.

What is experience? It’s an accumulation of events that one learns from (my definition). You can’t really say that you are an experienced ag pilot until you have “experienced” three segments of flight time; hours, seasons and years. By adding the third segment, years, flight time becomes a valid reflection of the abilities of the ag-pilot.

Each segment of time contributes to your overall experience. You can’t log a lot of time during a partial season and truly consider yourself experienced. There are no fooling years. That segment of experience is only earned as years pass by while active in the profession.

Actually, during a conversation, I never ask a pilot how many hours he has logged. Instead, I may inquire how many years he has been flying ag. His answer is a much better reflection of his experience. Unfortunately, a thick, old logbook doesn’t always tell the truth. The reason is some ag-pilots with a lot of logged hours simply don’t get it. They are only slightly better at aviating than they were when they started. NTSB reports on ag-aviation accidents prove this out.

Changing gears, I’m looking forward to this year’s AgAir Update hangar party in Perry, Georgia, the Friday before the NAAA Ag Aviation Expo in Savannah that starts on December 5 and continues until December 9. Graham is running the show, and he assures me this year’s party will be one for the history books. To that end, I know everyone is sick and tired of social distancing and masks. You can wear a mask to the party should you choose, but they will not be required. Nor will there be a vaccine requirement. These will be personal choices on your part. For the record, I’m vaccinated and won’t be masked! I hope to see you there.

Once you arrive at NAAA’s Ag-Aviation Expo and attend the exhibit hall, be sure to come by AgAir Update’s booth. There will be a cash bar situated between its sponsors AgAir Update and Lane Aviation. Plus, our new columnist, Michelle Miller, aka “The Farm Babe,” will be there to talk truth in agriculture!

Until next month – Keep Turning…


A Night with a SATLOC

Savannah is the Greatest



  • 2003 AT-6022003 AT-602
    2003 AT-602, N602RS, PT6A-45R, TTAF 5733, Engine 4163 SOH, FCU 4163 SOH, HP Fuel Pump 4163 SOH, Prop 270 since IRAN, SATLOC Bantam w/G4 screen, Transland 10 vane spreader, RH Boom shutoff, Storm shiel[...] Read more »
  • Two Helicopter Ag Pilots NeededTwo Helicopter Ag Pilots Needed
    Two Helicopter Ag Pilots Needed. At least 1-year ag experience is preferred. Must be dependable with a good work ethic. Call 641-821-0015 or email speasaviation@hotmail.com[...] Read more »
  • 2010 AT-6022010 AT-602
    2010 AT-602, PT6-45R, TTAF 5453.9, TT Engine 6957, FCU 1253 SOH, HP Fuel Pump 953 SOH, Prop 450 since IRAN, SATLOC Bantam w/G4 Screen, Right-hand boom shut off, Aviation band radio, Transland 10 vane [...] Read more »

Most Popular