A little Bit of History:
The Following Article was published in the Idaho
Caldwell boasts crop duster engine specialist
By Lora Volkert - Idaho Press-Tribune
It took the tinkering skills
of a plumber and the high-flying aspirations of a military pilot
instructor to create a one-of-a-kind
Bill Hubler quit his plumbing job, became a flight instructor,
came home to dust crops, and in the process started Ag-Air
Turbines, Inc., the
nation's only specialist.
in crop duster engine repair. .
Ag-Air, which operates
on 4716 Hubler Lane on the outskirts of Caldwell, was the
nation's first authorized service center for crop dusters,
according to Bill's son Bruce Hubler, who now runs the
business with his wife Becky: To this day it remains the only
service center to specialize solely in agricultural planes.
A second specialty of Ag-Air is replacing older model engines
on crop' dusters with turbine engines. The family business
actually began with this in mind, Bruce said. His father Bill
bought a fleet of crop dusters in 1979 and converted all the
engines to turbine engines.
There are many advantages to a turbine engine, Bruce explained.
The newer technology is more reliable than old models. It uses
jet fuel instead of more expensive gasoline. It increases the
Also, turbine engines weigh less than older models,
depending on the kind of engine being replaced,
sometimes half as much. Less engine weight means crop duster
operators can carry more weight in pesticide payloads. Larger
payloads means they spend less time flying back and forth on
the job to fill up on pesticides. This saves on fuel costs.
And because there is less weight in the front pulling the
plane's nose down, the. crop dusters have reduced drag and, as a
result, fly faster.
A lot of people called on Bill to see if he could help them
replace their engines, said Becky Hubler. Other companies began
installing the engines as well, but they still needed the
Hublers' help with maintenance and repair - part of the reason
servicing engines took up the bulk of the business.
The Hublers began Ag-Air as a side business to crop-dusting in
1995. Bruce and Becky took over Ag-Air's engine shop, while Bill
and Gary Hubler, Bruce's brother, operate Valley Air Service,
the crop dusting side of the family business.