Colorado Agricultural Aviation Association encourages farmers, ranchers and any others interested to attend its Operation S.A.F.E. Fly-in being held in La Junta, where attendees will hear updates about issues impacting the aerial application industry (aka crop dusting).
There will be flight demonstrations from the agricultural aircraft and from participating UAS (drone) operators as well as safety presentations from the National Transportation Safety Board, Think Before You Launch, and the Colorado State Patrol.
First responders are encouraged to attend Friday’s free safety seminar providing more information on how to properly respond to a call involving an agricultural aircraft. Law enforcement, EMS, fire, dispatch, farmers, or ranchers located in agricultural areas are encouraged to attend.
The Operation S.A.F.E. Fly-in will be conducted Thursday and Friday, Oct. 1-2, at the La Junta Municipal Airport located at 30267 First Ave. in La Junta.
Drones are a new and exciting frontier in ag technology, while larger manned agricultural aircraft provide vital services for farmers and ranchers. Both types of aircraft operate in the low altitude airspace over agricultural fields. Education, communication and coordination of flights will be critical to maintain the safety of pilots and avoid liabilities for new drone operators or landowners hiring drone flight services. In addition to Colorado Agricultural Aviation Association staff, representatives of WRK Arkansas, UAS Colorado, Avian LLC, Juniper Unmanned, and Metro State University will be on hand to provide balanced discussion and answer aviation questions for both manned and unmanned flight operations. All interested parties are encouraged to attend the Think Before You Launch Round Table discussion on Thursday, Oct. 1, at 11 am. This is a rare opportunity to view flight characteristics and potential precision ag applications for both manned and unmanned aircraft.
There will also be a scientific experiment conducted on Friday, Oct. 2, 2015 with agricultural aircraft originating from the La Junta airport then flying a pattern of 5-6 fields along the Arkansas River valley from La Junta to Fowler before returning to the La Junta airport. All participating aircraft and UAS vehicles are coordinated with safety observers at each site and have secured permission from the landowners to utilize specific fields for the experiment. Please check NOTAMS if you are flying into the area on Oct. 2, 2015.