One of the harbingers of spring in New Zealand is the drone of topdressing aircraft in the countryside. There is one roaring over the house right now. The pilots are real glamour boys of the rural scene, are highly skilled, (or dead) and their day at the office leaves little room for error. Hills are hard.
The truck & trailer loads of fertilizer have been carted in to the local airstrip, a feat in itself as we didn't think the trucks would make it through the muddy tracks. We also watched the plane fly in yesterday for a look at the strip. It will be working hard on takeoff, the ground is pretty wet, but a 600hp turboprop has a bit of grunt, and the Fletcher aircraft has fat soft tires.
The history of aerial topdressing is an interesting story of Gung Ho Kiwi ingenuity. Bored pilots returning from the war, and the Tiger Moth airplane being the main ingredients.
They do have a bad habit of starting early in the morning, when there is less wind, and the air denser. This means a noise first like a demented vacum cleaner & a nano second later a shattering roar from the the propellor & exhaust. And all this at daylight.
No Sunday morning lie in then, for Doddery, unless there is a good ground mist.
Photo Wanganui Aero Work