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Commercial Operations Branch

Part 137 Operations

Guidance

Flight Standards Information Management System (FSIMS) Volume 2, Chapter 8

Background

These regulations govern agriculture aircraft in the United States and encompass the dispensing of an economic poison designed to treat the soil or crops. Special certification rules for these pilots include knowledge and skill tests for the safe handling of poisons, agricultural chemicals, and basic medical knowledge of the symptoms of poisoning. There is also a special skill test (flight) and some rules that differ from part 91 that allow for low altitude aerial application amongst others. These include a requirement for a safety harness, operating without positioning lights, and restrictions from operating over congested areas. Special record keeping must be maintained.

Eligibility (FSIMS Volume 2, Chapter 8, Section 3)

  • The private agricultural aircraft operator may not conduct operations over property unless the operator is the owner or lessee of the property or has ownership or other legal interest in the crops located on the property. In addition, the operator may not conduct operations over a congested area or for compensation or hire. A commercial agricultural aircraft operator is not limited by these conditions.
  • The private operator/applicant must hold a private, commercial, or airline transport pilot certificate with appropriate ratings unless exempted for UAS operations.
  • The commercial operator/applicant must have available the services of a pilot having a current commercial or airline transport pilot certificate with appropriate ratings unless exempted for UAS operations.
  • The applicant for either a private or commercial agricultural aircraft operator certificate must provide at least one properly certificated airworthy aircraft equipped for agricultural operations unless exempted for UAS operations.
  • The applicant for a commercial operator certificate must have the services of a chief supervisor of agricultural operations. This supervisor should possess the appropriate knowledge and skills appropriate for the type of operation conducted (ie. Fixed wing, Rotorcraft, UAS).

Certification Process Part 137 (FSIMS Volume 2, Chapter 8, Section 1)

  • 2-968 – General
  • 2-969 – Pre-application
  • 2-970 – Formal Application
  • 2-971 – Document Compliance
  • 2-972 – Demonstration and Inspection
  • 2-938 – Certification

Resources

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