Ryan Stott, the crop-dusting combat pilot

Ryan Stott and son Rowen
Ryan Stott and son Rowen

Historical Society program will feature the Stott family’s 3 generations in aviation

~by Chuck Offenburger for the Greene County Historical Society

Ryan Stott, a third-generation aerial crop sprayer who also flies F-16 combat jets for the Air National Guard, will share stories from his aviation experience when the Greene County Historical Society meets Friday, May 6, at the Community Center in Churdan.

Stott, 34, of Jefferson, works with his father Jerry Stott in their Stott Aerial Spraying Inc. business, based at the Jefferson Municipal Airport. Jerry Stott followed the path of his father, the late Glen Stott, who was a crop sprayer in Montana. Jerry came to the Greene County area 30-plus years ago, first to do aerial spraying of crops for the Farnhamville Cooperative. When the co-op decided to get out of that business, Jerry started his own company in Jefferson.

Ryan Stott says he “grew up at the airport” in Jefferson, helping his father in crop spraying. He graduated from Jefferson-Scranton High School in 2000, learned jet aviation in the U.S. Air Force, and graduated as a pilot from F-16 pilot training in 2011. He eventually joined the Iowa Air National Guard, went on active duty in 2012 and flew bombing missions against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

After the Iowa Air Guard’s 132nd Fighter Wing had its mission shifted from F-16s to drones, Stott moved his military attachment to the South Dakota Air National Guard’s 114th Fighter Wing, 175th Fighter Squadron, based in Sioux Falls. He is now a captain, and trains regularly with crews flying from South Dakota.

The 2016 crop season is his fourth flying spray planes here, piloting the distinctive yellow “Air Tractor 402” planes that are equipped for spraying fungicides, herbicides and insecticides, as well as for doing aerial seeding. The latter part of the business has grown significantly with the new interest among area farmers in cover crops.

Ryan is married to Greene County High School art teacher Sarah Carlson Stott, and they have four children.

Before his presentation in Churdan, there will be an $8 lunch by the Churdan library committee at 12 noon, with the free program following at 1 pm. Historical Society members are asked to RSVP about the lunch to their regular community contacts by Wednesday, May 4. The public can make luncheon reservations by calling Ces Brunow at 515-370-5531.

Roger Aegerter, executive director of the Historical Society, will challenge the lunch crowd with trivia questions related to aviation and Churdan-area history.

Museum open this Saturday: In other Historical Society news,  the museum in Jefferson will be open to the public this Saturday, April 30, from 10 am to 2 pm, especially for people visiting for the “Spring Into Greene” activities and for a group of friends who will be camping in Winnebago recreational vehicles at the Greene County Fairgrounds this weekend.

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