Operation SAFE Fly-In

Preparing for a Fly-In

Plan to arrive at the fly-in with a fully cleaned aircraft and spray system. Flow check all nozzles and fix any leaks. Plan to bring spare spray system parts (nozzles, check valves, J-tubes, etc.) in case they are needed. It is also advised to bring 50-100 gallons of water, if  able.

Be prepared to provide the details of your aircraft and spray system configuration. It is encouraged for you to pre-fill the Operation SAFE Aircraft Information Form and bring it with you.

Attending a Fly-In

When you arrive, check in with the analysis center to receive a safety and protocol briefing and fill out your Aircraft Information Form. You will be provided with tracer dye to mix in the hopper, and be informed of the order in which attending aircraft will be tested.

Making the Test Passes

When it is your turn to test, takeoff and be vigilant of traffic. In an area downwind of the flight line (test-area), purge your booms by spraying until dye is visibly coming out of the most outboard nozzles. 

When signaled by the ground crew (via radio or flags), approach the flight line by aligning your flight path with the marked centerline (typically 3 white bags on posts). Descend to your desired application height and turn on the spray system 300-400 feet before the flight line. Maintain level flight, minimizing control movements until you are at least 300 feet past the flight line. Then, turn off the spray system and smoothly climb back into a holding pattern. 

The ground crew will signal you when they are ready for another pass. A total of 3 passes will typically be made before you land.

Analyzing the Results

Once back on the ground, await the processing of your collected data in the analysis center. The Operation SAFE Analyst will review your processed results and discuss them with you. A report will be provided, showing both a pattern analysis and a droplet spectrum analysis. The pattern analysis shows deposition across the swath as well as effective swath width and projected in-field uniformity. The droplet spectrum analysis shows in-swath spray quality via computed droplet spectrum categories (Medium, Coarse, etc.).

If you and the analyst agree on making adjustments, or if you desire to test other rates/configurations, another set of test passes may be made.