A little Bit of History:

The Following Article was published in the Idaho Press-Tribune:

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 Caldwell business.

  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 plane's horsepower.

  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.