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By Stefan Krause, Germany (Own work) [FAL], via Wikimedia Commons

What is the exact dialogue a crop duster pilot will have, if any, with ATC on a routine flight?

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Are you wanting to know everything from startup to shutdown, or just part of the flight? Also, what country or area are you interested in? $\endgroup$ – fooot Jun 6 '16 at 21:39
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    $\begingroup$ What? Crop dusters with radios? What is this world coming to? Hmm, maybe I'm a little out of date. The last time I was in a crop duster was in 1956. $\endgroup$ – Terry Jun 6 '16 at 23:32
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    $\begingroup$ The current answer and its comment show that this is actually possible to answer this question easily. VTR. $\endgroup$ – mins Sep 11 '16 at 10:39
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    $\begingroup$ Typically, no communication will take place with ATC, because most crop dusting will take place in uncontrolled airspace, or at least outside of airspace requiring communication with ATC. However, it is not uncommon for a crop duster to do some traffic advisory communication over CTAF if operating out of a public use airport. In my flights in the vicinity of crop dusters and crop dusting operations, I have heard CTAF traffic calls on a few occasions, at what I would estimate to be 10% of operations at public use airports. $\endgroup$ – J Walters Sep 11 '16 at 13:10

In most areas in the U.S., none. As the flights would mostly take place in Class G airspace.

Class G airspace is typically the airspace very near the ground (1,200 feet or less).

Radio communication is not required in class G airspace, even for IFR operations. Class G is completely uncontrolled.

  • $\begingroup$ +1. They may make traffic advisory calls if in the vicinity of an aerodrome, but strictly speaking that isn't ATC. $\endgroup$ – Ben Jun 7 '16 at 7:34
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    $\begingroup$ Not that I've seen. They blast in and out of the airport and use non active runways. I don't think they even have radeos. They're not mandatory in the US for uncontrolled fields. $\endgroup$ – user959690 Sep 11 '16 at 13:41
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    $\begingroup$ @user959690 I agree - they are never on the radio and are always coming in hot. $\endgroup$ – Pugz Sep 12 '16 at 3:29
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    $\begingroup$ I've never liked crop dusters for this exact reason. Its not very fun to fly in formation next to one while you're on final approach because the field he is dusting is adjacent to the runway centerline and he's radio silent. $\endgroup$ – Rhino Driver Sep 13 '16 at 19:55

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