My ears are always attuned to sounds going on around me and especially so if I am outdoors. Just back to the Jeep after our morning walk my ears alerted me to a familiar sound in the sky. I could hear a small airplane approaching from the southeast. Within seconds I could tell this was not the sound of a usual small Cessna motor. This engine had a heavier sound to it so I knew it was packing a bigger beefier engine. I've been to enough airshows years ago to know a bit about aircraft sounds. Well within visual range, I noticed it was a bi-plane. (two sets of wings) but not of WW1 vintage. I had a feeling this could be a crop duster heading for a job. As it turns out, I was right.
Pheebs and I didn't have any particular destination in mind so we ambled off in the same direction the airplane had headed. A few miles up the road I spotted the plane again and it was swooping down crisscrossing Parr Line so I knew for sure it was a crop duster at work. I've seen that kind of flying before. (by helicopters as well)
|I PULLED OFF TO THE SIDE OF THE ROAD BUT DIDN'T REALIZE I HAD STOPPED DIRECTLY IN THE PILOTS EXT PASS|
|THE PILOT COMES AROUND AND LINES UP HIS NEXT PASS|
|AND THIS IS WHERE I GOT DUSTED|
We headed up a point near where the plane was in the process of dusting a cornfield and pulled off to the side of the road. I got out with my camera not realizing I was going to be right underneath his next run. Watched the pilot bank to the right, level off, and lose altitude heading right for us. (I found out the next day the pilot is a female) He/she didn't have her sprayer on yet but soon as she went over us I turned to watch her go and about the same time I saw the spray I felt a slight drizzle on my arms. I got dusted and I could sure smell the chemicals in the air. Luckily Pheebs was in the Jeep. Didn't take me long to move the Jeep further up the road and with a quick swipe of the windshield wiper my windshield was clear of the lite chemical sprinkle.
|MOVED UP THE ROAD A BIT OUT OF THE PLANES WAY|
|ONE OF THE BIGGEST HAZARDS FOR CROP DUSTERS IS POWER LINES|
Took a few more pics then headed north up to Towerline Road and turned left. There's a high hill there so I stopped and let Pheebs out while I continued to watch the crop duster working the field about a mile or so south of us. Even from that distance, I could hear the occasional loud whap of the two blade propeller biting into the air just like the old Harvards (Texans) I once heard at the airshows.
From Tower line road I turned left on Tipperary line heading back south and stopping to take a few more photos. Like I have said many times in my posts over the years, I have a fascination with airplanes and it's probably evident in all the photos I took this morning.
I had a feeling she might be getting to the end of the job soon and sure enough, on what turned out to be her last run she arced out farther to the northwest, banked left, straightened her wings, and instead of turning back to the cornfield, she headed right for Pheebs and I. I knew she was on her way home. She came down low and flew right over us while I snapped a few more photos of her coming then departing. Gave her a wave and wished her a safe flight home wherever her home base was. From start to finish I probably watched this pilot buzz that cornfield well over a dozen times. How nice it was having something else to take pictures of this morning besides my usual everyday fare of bugs, birds, flowers, fields, etc. etc. and etc.
Home again I downloaded 87 airplane photos and got to work editing that number down to 46. As the pilot flew off to the south she remained on a steady course towards London Ontario so I figured she must be based somewhere in that area. From several of my photos, I saw the name on the plane was General Airspray Limited. A quick Google search located them southwest of Lucan Ontario so I hopped into my own Google Maps plane, flew down, and soon located their home base at the Lucan Airport on the southeast corner of Airport Drive and Coursey Line.
|AFTER THE PILOT'S FINAL CROP-DUSTING PASS SHE COMES WAY AROUND AND FLIES RIGHT OVER US ON THE WAY HOME|
|JOB WELL DONE AND HEADED HOME|
My nephew came over the other day and he was wearing a helmet, shoulder pads, knee pads, and gloves. He said, "I'm gonna ride my bike!" I said, "Where? Through a minefield?"
Oh my. Wonderful, I just hope you didn't get sprayed with something awful.ReplyDelete
But those biplanes look like so much fun. A long tine ago I took flying lessons (until it was time to solo and get a medical, so maybe I was scared)
But I loved the little high wing Cessna in my lessons. I had been flying regularly with an old guy to a job in a low wing, and thought at times I might need to land that thing if he stroked out. But I quit my lessons before solo time, also thinking, it would be like getting a yacht pilot license. Like I'm ever going to have a yacht OR a plane.
Oh dear. Once again I've gone on too long.
I wonder if the pilot might enjoy having a few enlargements of a photo or two of him/her 'in action' for the wall of his office. I'll bet it's pretty difficult to take selfies up there!ReplyDelete
Great pictures,Al, however I am concerned with you being sprayed. I might give that company a call to find out.ReplyDelete
The pictures are great! And the pilot of that plane is my daughter, Ariane Morin. ☺️ I was in Lucan last week, from our home town of Cornwall, to also take pictures and admire her skills. I managed to not get dusted!��ReplyDelete
Thanks for your comment about the pilot. That's pretty special. I'll let my readers know in my Tuesday post. Feel free to use any of my photos. That's why I take them:))ReplyDelete
If you want to see her fuelling that same plane last week.ReplyDelete
I couldn't get that link to open for me Daniel.Delete
If you write to me at email@example.com I could send you a few where we see her sitting in the plane.Delete
Thanks for the opportunity to use your wonderful pictures!
Great photos, I am certain that the pilot would love to see these photos.ReplyDelete
I didn't think ouf crop dusting down there in the Huron County boonies. I guess you're more up-to-date than we are. Great photos. I know just what it's like to find a new subject to photograph. I did that myself today.ReplyDelete
Great plane photos Al! And nice to hear the background info on the pilot ;-) Today it would all be done with GPS, but back in the day we had a few fields sprayed the old fashioned way. I'd be at one end of the field waving a white flag on the end of a pole to give the pilot something to aim for - and another person doing the same at the other end. After the plane got lined up on us, we'd pace the required distance over for the next run - and repeat!ReplyDelete
Riding in a biplane crop duster has been on my bucket list for decades!ReplyDelete