AGRONOMY PILOT: Dale Bittner | Norfolk

Aurora Cooperative 3 months ago

Have you ever wondering who was in the plane flying fungicide over your acres? Well we would like to introduce you to one of our many elite agronomy pilots.

Meet Dale Bittner flying out of Dale’s Flying Service in Norfolk, NE.

Years of Service: 36 years in total and 9 years for Aurora Cooperative. 

What Inspired You to Become an Ag Pilot?

I’ve been around ag aviation since I was a little boy standing next to my dad’s J3 Cub equipped with a spray system since 1959. There has always been a piece of me wanting to do this as I have seen others grow up in life pursue this profession. It’s been in my blood ever since, despite what my high school counselor told me I should be.

What Do You Love Most About Flying?

The skill set and art of taking an expensive plane across fields day in and day out.

Do You Consider the Training Leading Up to Becoming a Successful Ag Pilot Difficult?

No question about it. People coming up through the ranks of becoming an agricultural pilot requires lots of training…from ground operations to chemical mixing, agronomy decisions, mapping fields, customer relationship and understanding weather for aerial application is only the tip of the iceberg.

Most Acres Sprayed in 24 Hours?

To me it’s not about how many acres one can do in one day, it’s about getting it done right and being safe. Coming home to your family at night is the most important thing.

Who Inspires You Throughout Your Everyday Work Life?

My wife and daughters are always reminding me to be safe.

Why Do You Believe Aerial Application Is So Important?

There is a need for the aerial industry in many ways, from forestry fire fighting to spraying crops. Rangeland can often be too rough for ground rigs and fertilizing crops that are too wet to get into.

Do You Have Any Superstitions When It Comes to Flying?

Yes, be on the ground when your tachometer reads 666!

Pineapple or No Pineapple on Pizza?

No pineapple