Thrush Fall 2013 Newsletter

2013-10-08 09:15:22

A message from Payne Hughes

With temperatures close to summer levels, and afternoon showers almost every week, it’s hard to believe the seasons have changed here in Albany. But shorter days, and darkness when we head to work in the mornings, are a sure sign fall is upon us.

For our local growers it means planned rotation of crops, and for our local Thrush operators it means some good flying – as the work stays steady this time of year, and the temperatures and winds are usually quite pleasant.

Here at the factory, these past few months have been very good for us, as well – and for a variety of reasons you’ll read about below.

Most noteworthy of all, however, is the fact that we’ve just celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the new Thrush Aircraft.And “new” really is an important word for all of us – as new leadership, new growth, and new innovation over these past ten years has allowed us to turn Thrush into the kind of company we always knew it could be. And to support our customers during this time by turning out the very latest and best ag aircraft in the world.

Thank you for making 2003 to 2013 the most exciting time in our company’s history – and please know we fully intend for the next ten years to be even better.

thrushaircraft.com – upgrades and more

On Monday, October 7th, we launched the latest version of thrushaircraft.com. In addition to some amazing new photography,we added a new selection of videos that will be supplemented monthly. Video is a wonderful format to demonstrate the unsurpassed handling of a Thrush in a way still photos cannot – and to share some of the experiences of our pilots and our customers.

We’ve also added dual-cockpit configurations of the Thrush 510P 510G and 710P to the site, as well as the newest version of the 510GR.

The 510GR is powered by the Garrett TPE 331, and has been in steady demand over the past 20 years – and our latest updates should keep its popularity strong for the next twenty.

Perhaps the neatest update of all to the site is the addition of our new “Second Harvest” section. The Second Harvest program lists a very select group of low-time, pre-owned Thrush aircraft that are currently in our North American dealers’ inventory. Each aircraft comes with some nice extras, so please do have a look – as there might just be the perfect pre-owned Thrush waiting there for you.

Chinese delivery, Thrush style

During these past few months, a major new milestone was reached by our factory team – as we delivered six new aircraft to China.

7,500 nautical miles is a very long way, no matter what you’re flying. But when you’re flying the newest ag aircraft in the world (three brand new dual-cockpit Thrush 510Gs) the trip is really something – and filled with more adventure than you can shake a stick at – from weather, to customs, to paperwork that almost weighed more than all three airplanes combined!

The trip started with a three-ship cross country from our factory to Seattle, Washington, then from Seattle to Nome, Alaska. After a few days of weather delays in Nome the fun part began – and the delivery team headed out over the Bering Sea and entered Russian Airspace. The new 510Gs had no problems with the long water legs, however, we still had the seemingly never-ending task of dealing with over flight and landing permits in Russia.

Between dealing with restricted airspace for the military and restricted airspace for the airlines the ferry route was diverted from Nome to Ugolny, Russia. Ugolny might be one of the last places on earth without phone service or Internet, which meant we had no contact with our ferry pilots for some 48 hours. Not the best of times when an ever-changing stream of paperwork is being requested by local authorities.

The next leg was to Petropavlovsk, where the airport was under major construction, meaning the authorities would only allow one aircraft to enter the airspace at a time. With no Internet or cell coverage in Ugolny, the team decided to split up in Nome with each aircraft leaving in intervals until the first aircraft in line would arrive at Petropavlovsk.

Of course, the one aircraft entry requirement caused a bottleneck when bad weather rolled in and delayed departure of other aircraft already at Petropavlovsk. This meant our ferry team had aircraft in Nome, Ugolny and Petropavlovsk waiting for the weather to clear so they could get moving again towards the final destination. Finally, after the weather cleared in Petropavlovsk, the lead aircraft had one more stop in Khabarovsk, Russia. However, since it was Russian airspace the flight was diverted some 100 NM.

Departing Khabarovsk, the first of three Thrush 510Gs ever to over fly Russia was finally able to enter China airspace and be delivered to Harbin, China. Aircraft number two landed 24 hours later, and the last Thrush landed in Harbin one week behind it due to weather delays.

It was not the longest ferry flight in Thrush history, but it was certainly the most challenging. The next three aircraft arrived a few weeks later by ship – and today, six shiny new dual-cockpit 510Gs are being readied for their first ever spray seasons in China, marking the end of a long journey for us – but the beginning of a whole new era for ag aviation in China.

New scholarship for Women In Aviation

Recognizing the growing need for agricultural pilots worldwide, we have recently created a scholarship program in concert with a terrific organization called Women in Aviation.

With over 9,000 members, Women in Aviation helps promote flying careers for both women and men – and together this year we launched the Thrush Agricultural Aviation Scholarship, which will award $10,000 to a winning candidate to be used to further their training and flying of agricultural aircraft. The scholarship will be awarded in March, and we could not be more excited to be a part of it.

Here’s a summary of the rules: Applicants must be a U.S. Citizen, have a commercial pilot certificate with tail-wheel endorsement at time the scholarship is awarded, and be willing to complete the final step in their transition and orientation training on location here at Thrush Aircraft. All of the training must be conducted in the United States.

Scholarship funds are to be used for approved flight training and course materials, and may be used for travel to and from the flight training location, and to Thrush Aircraft during the training period. On-going reports of training progress will be required, and the training is to be completed in twelve month's time.

If you or someone you know might be interested in applying, for this unique opportunity, they should submit a 500-word essay outlining their career ambitions and goals – along with their current qualifications – to Women In Aviation’s Scholarship Award Committee for consideration by senior management at Thrush. Good luck to everyone who applies, and here’s to a whole new crop of ag aviators!

Thank You

As always, we never want to conclude any newsletter without a big thank you to each and every one of you, our customers. Without your support, we simply could not do what we do, nor achieve the levels of success we’ve enjoyed over the past 10 years. On behalf of all of us here at Thrush – thank you. Fly safely, and come see us one day soon.