Company from Osijek Acquires Air Tractor Aircraft

The Osijek-based company Air Tractor d.o.o., owned by the Vlašić family, has procured an Air Tractor AT504 aircraft and will become the first civilian operator of this type in the region. In an interview with AvioRadar, Zrinka Vlašić confirmed that the plane will arrive in Osijek in August 2024. Its primary purposes will be mosquito control, forest treatment, and pilot training.

“We have acquired an AT504 aircraft, serial number 004, which was manufactured in 2010 and has accumulated only 2,600 hours of total flight time. The current registration number of the aircraft is C-GMTG. Its primary purposes are mosquito control, forest treatment, and pilot training for this specific type of aircraft”, said Mrs. Vlasic.

However, the company does not exclude the use of the aircraft for other purposes as well, such as firefighting: “If the opportunity arises in the future, we might use it for firefighting purposes as well,” confirmed Air Tractor.

The procurement of the aircraft was initiated in November 2023, when the company visited the US and inspected the aircraft in question. However, over time, the interest shifted to another supplier, given that the supplier from the USA did not meet the set requirements. In the end, an aircraft from Canada was chosen, on which staff training was carried out at the beginning of this year. It is a two-seater (side-by-side) type of aircraft, which also meets the requirements for the training of flight personnel.

In an interview with AvioRadar, Ms. Vlašić commented on the selection of a specific type of aircraft: “This aircraft type was chosen for several reasons. Firstly, we urgently needed a replacement for the Antonov-2, which we believe has become outdated and presents significant challenges in sourcing parts. Secondly, the Air Tractor is the most successful aircraft globally for our specific needs. We sought a reliable engine, large load capacity, and strong support from the manufacturer, all of which we found in the Air Tractor.”

Furthermore, Air Tractor states that pilot training was quite demanding: “Firstly, we must express our gratitude to the Slovenian Civil Aviation Agency, whose licenses are held by all three pilots who will operate this type of aircraft in our company. The only pilot training organization within EASA that offers training on the AT802 is Titan Pilot School. However, from a pilot’s perspective, the AT802 is quite different from the AT504 that we acquired. With the assistance of the Slovenian Civil Aviation Agency, we completed the necessary training in Canada and registered the authorization on our EASA licenses. The training process lasted two weeks and was quite demanding. On the technical side, we were well-prepared, as our technicians already had the necessary authorization.”

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