JANUARY 22, 2024 — Dr. Carrol Voss, a pioneer in the helicopter aerial application industry will be enshrined into the National Agricultural Aviation Hall of Fame during the 2024 Ag Aviation Expo in Fort Worth, Texas.
Dr. Voss had a background in entomology and aviation and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Nebraska and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin. During World War II, he served as a Navy Flight Instructor for flying boats. Inspired by Joe Mashman’s helicopter dusting tests in 1946, Voss obtained his helicopter pilot’s license in 1949.
After a decade of working in helicopters and agriculture, Dr. Voss established his own business, “Ag Rotors,” in 1958. While not the first to apply materials with helicopters, he significantly refined pesticide application through testing various nozzles on specific pests. Voss applied seeds with helicopters using an external sling bucket and was an early advocate and operator for frost control with helicopters.
Ag Rotors ran a flight school, training about 100 pilots annually, including those transitioning from military service, often from the Vietnam War. Dr. Voss played a key role in training helicopter pilots for state police departments. He was a member of the Helicopter Association International and supported the National Agricultural Aviation Association.
In 1983, Dr. Voss authored a paper on helicopter application for Gypsy Moth, addressing environmental concerns and emphasizing organization and communication. Dr. Voss was the first to successfully apply glyphosate to Phragmites test plots in Maryland.
He contributed to vector control research globally and received the Sikorsky Humanitarian Service Award for mosquito eradication in New York. Dr. Voss also received the Twirly Birds Les Morris Award in 1995 and Helicopter Association International’s Bell Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001.
Dr. Voss also served as a consultant with the World Health Organization, assisting in the establishment of aerial application programs in Africa for insect infestations. In addition, he was a consultant for aerial application in South America, India and the former USSR.
Overall, Carrol Voss made significant contributions to the helicopter aerial application industry, combining his expertise in entomology and aviation to advance agricultural aviation practices and disease control.
Graham Lavender, Chairman
National Agricultural Aviation Hall of Fame