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I'm a homeowner next to a farm field owned by a local farmer. He has his crops sprayed several times a year. This last time he sprayed the field I went and sat on my driveway, so he didn't get close to spraying my orchard and garden. So, he flew behind me came over my wood line and sprayed my garden, orchard, me and my truck. Then flew away. I confronted his company in not a nice manner my fault. And got talked to from the local law enforcement saying they wouldn't press charges against me. But the crop duster company denied they flew over my field and house but then called and talked to the local farmer, so their stories matched. All pilots have to file a flight plan correct. Is there any way to get a copy of that to file a complaint of them flying continuous over our property while dusting the neighbors field? I have breathing issues so being sprayed by a chemical from a plane and having swollen eyes and trouble breathing is a big issue for me. We also have farm animals a Horse and goats. But this doesn't seem to even bother this crop-dusting pilot.

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    $\begingroup$ Next time this happens, a video would be supremely useful. $\endgroup$ Jul 19, 2022 at 22:34
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks I plan on doing that. $\endgroup$
    – Brent
    Jul 20, 2022 at 1:53
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    $\begingroup$ "All pilots have to file a flight plan correct?" False. Most smaller plane, GA, VFR flights happen without a flight plan, and even if one is filed, there's no guarantee the pilot sticks to it. $\endgroup$
    – abelenky
    Jul 20, 2022 at 2:57
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    $\begingroup$ Even if a flight plan existed, which it definitely won't in this case, and even if it had such precise detail as spraying patterns, which it definitely wouldn't, the pilot wouldn't put "overspraying neighboring plots" in it. Radar tracks, which wouldn't exist anyway due to the low altitude, aren't precise enough to prove overspraying. Photos or video are really your only hope. $\endgroup$
    – TypeIA
    Jul 20, 2022 at 7:28
  • $\begingroup$ It's not always clear who you mean by "he". Sounds like you are saying the farmer is spraying his own crops? Also you contradict yourself: in one sentence "he didn't get close to spraying my orchard and garden" and in the next sentence "he flew behind me came over my wood line and sprayed my garden, orchard, me and my truck.". --??? $\endgroup$ Jul 20, 2022 at 15:52

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Assuming you're in the US, flights are only recorded by the pilot in his personal logbook (in Canada flights are recorded in an aircraft specific Journey Log as well). There won't be any records of flights that you would have access to unless you subpoena'd the pilot, and the pilot's own log book may be thin on the details anyway.

Your best bet is to make video of the action, making sure the airplane's registration can be made out, and take it to whatever agency in your state regulates pest control activity (it's a pest control application matter, not really a flying matter per se - you'd have the same problem if he was blasting you with chemical with a tractor).

They shouldn't be overspraying like that. Operators mostly all use extremely precise GPS based pattern control systems for spraying, and aside from the potential health effects on the neighbours, they should be pretty careful about not throwing money way dumping chemical where it isn't needed anyway. Sounds like a sloppy operator.

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  • $\begingroup$ "Operators mostly all use extremely precise GPS based pattern control systems for spraying..." Is this GPS pattern control system a component of the aircraft or the spaying unit itself? $\endgroup$
    – user22445
    Jul 22, 2022 at 19:14
  • $\begingroup$ It's a guidance system that provides start/stop and track guidance. Basically a stand alone micro-navigation system. Pilot still controls the spray. There's all kinds of vids on youtube that show these systems in action. $\endgroup$
    – John K
    Jul 23, 2022 at 12:47
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for the info on the GPS system. By the way, in the U.S. the company is required by FAR's to keep a record of the name/address of the person receiving the service, date it was done, and what was dispensed. Plenty of info to use for the OP to file a complaint with the FAA. @Brent $\endgroup$
    – user22445
    Jul 24, 2022 at 18:10
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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has regulatory and safety oversight of Agricultural Aircraft Operations (Crop dusting, pesticide spraying, etc., from aircraft). Agricultural Aircraft Operators are required to be certificated by the FAA and their operations are subject to the Federal Aviation Regulations.

The Federal Aviation Regulation that addresses Agricultural Aircraft Operations is 14 CFR Part 137. This LINK is to Section 137.37 of that regulation and states the following:

137.37 Manner of Dispensing.

No persons may dispense, or cause to be dispensed, from an aircraft, any material or substance in a manner that creates a hazard to persons or property on the surface.

Although Agricultural Aircraft operations ("crop duster" operations) would not involve filing a flight plan, the company is required to keep records for 12 months containing the following information for each operation: (Ref: Section 137.71)

  • Name and address of the person who received the service;
  • The date of the service;
  • The name and quantity of the material that was dispensed.

If you believe that this aircraft is spraying pesticides, chemicals, etc., contrary to the regulation noted above, you may want to contact the local FAA "Flight Standards District Office" (known as a FSDO) that is responsible for the area. Since the FSDO has regulatory oversight responsibilities for the Agricultural Operators in their area, this would be a place to seek some assistance.

You can use this LINK to look up the phone number of the FAA FSDO that is closest to where you live.

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  • $\begingroup$ Good answer, but I would recommend contacting the FSDO for the state in which the operation occurred. That may not be the closest FSDO. $\endgroup$
    – RetiredATC
    Jul 20, 2022 at 20:10
  • $\begingroup$ @RetiredATC Some FSDO's cover areas partially in two states (or perhaps more). So, probably the closest FSDO would be a better place to contact at first. Thanks $\endgroup$
    – user22445
    Jul 20, 2022 at 20:36
  • $\begingroup$ I looked at a FSDO map for the US and you're absolutely right. I'm used to dealing with the SE US FSDOs which are confined to a state (or multiple offices within a state) but once you get west of the Mississippi they start crossing state lines. Thanks for the correction. $\endgroup$
    – RetiredATC
    Jul 20, 2022 at 23:04

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