NAAA AG AVIATION EXPO: BED FRAMES, PROPELLERS, PILOTS AND THE PT6A
Might you fancy a wrought iron bed frame with the NAAA logo adorning the headboard? How about a quilt for said bed that features a replica of an Air Tractor 502 aircraft? Or perhaps you are in need of a 5-blade propeller, flying lessons or a factory-new PT6A engine?
According to Andrew Moore, Executive Director of the National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA), these are just a few of the items that will be up for auction at this year’s Ag Aviation Expo, December 4 – 7, in Savannah, Georgia. The Live and Silent auctions have become signature fundraising events which help NAAA support the interests of its members and the community.
“The atmosphere at the Expo is highly energized,” says Andrew. “We’re a tight-knit community and every year it’s like a reunion among close colleagues. We have anywhere from 1,500 to 2,000 people in attendance from all around the world, ranging from industry veterans and leaders to young ambitious pilots who want the inside track on how to get into the industry.”
Andrew tells us that the 2017 Expo will kick off with key note speaker, Shannon Huffman Polson, the first woman to fly an Apache combat helicopter in the U.S. Armed Forces, while serving on three continents and leading two flight platoons and a line company. A sought-after speaker, she draws upon her military and corporate career to offer lessons learned and leadership strategies. At the other end of the program is the closing awards banquet where a number of special honours will be bestowed on individuals for their contribution to the industry.
Throughout the three-day Expo are numerous professional development and educational opportunities many of which focus on NAAA’s pre-occupation with industry safety.
Ryan Densham, Senior Marketing Account Manager, General Aviation, P&WC, along with other employees will be representing the company at the upcoming Expo, his fifth attendance in as many years.
“The Expo has a unique, casual atmosphere where you get to meet very passionate and dedicated people,” says Ryan. “It’s always held at the end of the application season in the Northern Hemisphere and people are relieved to have the challenges of the season behind them. The event attracts a cross section of the industry but is dominated by ag operators and pilots. In fact the vast majority of operators are also pilots.”
For its part, P&WC makes the most of the annual NAAA gathering. It routinely meets with all of the aircraft dealers who attend the Expo along with representatives from the two major ag aircraft OEMs, Air Tractor and Thrush. On the Sunday prior to the kick off, P&WC hosts an eight-hour seminar on the PT6A engine. Taking the course gives attendees FAA training credits and between 65 –70 people attend the event every year.
This year, P&WC is also bringing its FAST™ (Full flight data Acquisition, Storage and Transmission) solution to Ag Aviation Expo. The FAST system automates the capture, transmission and analysis of engine and aircraft data parameters. Armed with this intelligence, operators are able to make rapid data-driven decisions, which can help them lower costs and troubleshoot potential issues before they happen. Operators who want to learn more are invited to P&WC’s FAST educational session held on the Wednesday.
P&WC announcements made during the show will also be posted here as they take place.