Saskatchewan crop dusters to star in new documentary series

Sarah Rolles
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A new documentary television series featuring Saskatchewan crop dusters is preparing to make its debut to television.

On June 2 at 9 p.m. ET/PT History Television will air the first episode of “Dust Up” a new documentary series that is filmed completely in rural Saskatchewan.

“It is completely real, nothing in the show is staged or faked or forced this is the truest form of documentary out there,” said executive producer/ co-creator/ and director Terry Mialkowsky. “They live compelling enough lives and exciting enough lives that we don’t need to make this stuff up.”

“Dust Up” presents three individual crop dusters from Nipawin Saskatchewan, 73-year-old Bud Jardine, his rebellious son Brennan Jardine, and ambitious newbie Travis Karle. These three crazy aviators risk their lives everyday doing what they call just another day in the office at speeds of 150 mph, five feet from the ground.

“I think that one of the things that makes a good spray pilot is the lack of fear and common sense,” said Brennan jokingly. “And hopefully maybe somebody is looking out for us at the same time. I know every year I have close calls and last year I had more then the average.”

This new series follows all three pilots who may do the same thing everyday but actually work as competitors when it comes to their business. It portrays the exciting, competitive, and ego driven daredevils that they are and have to be, to be crazy enough to get in that plane every day.

“For most people this is a very different type of job and it is a dangerous game that we play all the time,” said Brennan. “I think it is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. But these our things I don’t really think about and maybe I try not too.”

Crop dusting may be a dangerous profession but it is a vital resource for many Saskatchewan farmers. It is a fast and easy method for farmers to protect their crops against weeds and insects and can sometimes ultimately be what protects their livelihood. Making what Bud, Brennan and Travis do a very demanding and busy, but necessary job.

“Expect going on a wild ride with these three maverick crop dusting pilots as they save the world one crop a time,” said Mialkowsky. “You are going to see examples of businesses that are thriving, farmers that are faced with agricultural and weather challenges and thrilling flying with unexpected outcomes.”

The first and second episode of “Dust Up” will play back to back on June 2 at 9 p.m. Four more episodes will follow two at a time back to back for the next two weeks on the following Thursday evenings at the same time.

“For the most part it will be close to how it is in reality at the Nipawin airport and Northeastern Saskatchewan for these three companies that are crop dusting,” said Brennan. “Sometimes they like each other and maybe sometimes they don’t, but ultimately at the end of the day our main goal is to look after those farmers, especially when they need us the most.”

The first six episodes and their success with viewer interest and ratings will be the deciding factor for the series success to whether or not more episodes will be created. Viewers can help show their support by visiting “Dust Up” on facebook and twitter at facebook.com/dustuptv and twitter.com/dustuptv.

In Nipawin there is also a screening and promotional night event for “Dust Up” that will happen throughout the day on Thursday, May 26. An air show will kick off the day at 4 p.m. at the Nipawin airport with crop dusters Bud Jardine, Brennan Jardine, and Travis Karle. A world premiere screening of episode one will follow at 8:30 p.m. at the Nipawin Evergreen Centre Auditorium. But anyone at home can still stay tuned to his or her television for the official premiere of this exciting new documentary series on June 2.

“I think it is going to be exciting entertainment,” said Brennan. “So basically just sit back in your living room and I will be there flying into your front room.”

Organizations: ET/PT History Television, Nipawin Evergreen Centre Auditorium

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, Nipawin

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  • Dave
    July 07, 2011 - 21:43

    A little bit critical aren't you? A quick search shows the more popular plane, 15 years old going for half a million bucks... a 35 year old Pawnee, which does the job, $50,000.... 1/10th the cost... think that has something to do with it?

  • jay
    June 14, 2011 - 18:17

    “I think that one of the things that makes a good spray pilot is the lack of fear and common sense,” Its commets like these that hurt the industry. Why weren't more professional applicators chosen for the tv show? for heavens sake, theyre still flying pawnees! Any halfway-serious operator would run something more efficient. Send some camera crews over to Georgia or Texas and show some real pilots that have common sense, and that act professoinal