This is the last English edition of AgAir Update for 2022. Overall, the year has been good for ag-aviation worldwide, better in some places than others. However, that is the nature of the game.
As 2022 winds down and everyone prepares for 2023, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. For some, it has been a bountiful year. While for others, it has not been so much so. For those less fortunate, we should remember them this coming holiday season, especially those that have gone on before us to that airstrip in the heavens.
Many of us north of the equator have a very significant decision to make this winter and later in the year for those below it. As pilots in this industry age with many reaching this decision point, it must be realized each is only human with physical and mental limitations. I’m alluding to hanging up the helmet permanently.
For most, when this point in an ag pilot’s career is reached, it will be a difficult choice to stop ag-flying. There simply cannot be a more rewarding experience flying ag if that is what one is meant to do. The trick is recognizing when the “time” has come
Some will stop and fly part-time. That could be a poor decision. A pilot can only go so far riding on years of experience. Idleness is a recipe for disaster. I have met more than one ag-pilot that tried to ease out by flying part-time, only to find out often that does not work.
I do not mean to be all doom and gloom for the ag-pilot approaching retirement. Some of us will fly ourselves until it is time to meet our Maker. Others will recognize when it is time to hang up the old brain bucket and start enjoying the next stage in our life.
Young pilots may think this decision is a long way into the future. But, they will be amazed at how quickly the years will pass. And, if they don’t start preparing today, it will be all the more bittersweet when that time arrives.
I end this editorial with a suggestion. Recognize where you are today and where you would like to be tomorrow. Plan for it. Accept it, as the future is inevitable.
Until next month,