A big yellow biplane flying low over local fields has drawn the attention — and ire — of some area residents due to the sight and sound, but Highland County Airport President Bob Jones says while it may be a little loud and fly low to the ground, the plane is just a sturdy crop duster and the pilot is federally certified.
“Anybody that calls in during the day, we tell them, ‘Yeah, he’s certified to do that,’” Jones said.
According to Jones, Adrian Brunck, the pilot, got Federal Aviation Administration approval a few weeks ago, and he will likely continue to spray the local rye cover crop until winter.
Brunck, who was conducting maintenance on the yellow bird Friday afternoon at the Highland County Airport, told The Times-Gazette that the plane is a 1976 Grumman Ag Cat, the first type of airplane designed for agricultural use in the United States.
Jones said the airport has received about a half a dozen calls complaining about the noise and how low the plane flies.
He said the Grumman is one of two crop dusters that fly over the county.
“The other one is a turbo prop and it’s quieter,” Jones said. “The radial engine on (Brunck’s) plane makes a lot of noise. People probably don’t even hear the other one that comes in here occasionally.”
Brunck, who lives in the Berrysville area, flies the Grumman over fields here and around the region for his business, CropAid Services.
Brunck said he also has a chemical applicator’s license.
“You don’t want to do nothing like this without it,” he said.
The pilot said he has owned the plane for more than a year, but only recently obtained his licensing.
“It’s taken me this long just to get the certification to do this,” he said.
Jones said Brunck has been renting a small hangar in the main building at the airport, but will move out of it at the end of the year to another, larger building there.
The airport president asked area residents to be patient with Runck’s flying, as the plane is just another piece of agricultural equipment.
“Just be tolerant,” Jones said. “He’s trying to make a living.”
Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570.