Air Tractor founder dies

February 22, 2011

After more than 50 years of designing aerial application airplanes, Leland Snow, founder and president of Air Tractor, died Feb. 20 at the age of 80.

Snow created his first aerial application aircraft in 1951. After manufacturing his own airplanes and working for Rockwell-Standard’s Aero Commander division, Snow founded Air Tractor in 1972 in Olney, Texas, according to a statement on the company’s website. By 2010, the company had delivered its 2,500th aircraft. Air Tractor manufactures the AT-401, AT-402, AT-502, AT-504, AT-602, AT-802, and AT-802F aircraft.

“Actively involved in Air Tractor aircraft design and manufacturing until his death, Snow was also a great supporter and contributor to the agricultural spray aircraft industry, helping to promote agricultural aviation, educate the public about the benefits of aerial agricultural spraying and supporting efforts to introduce and train young pilots in agricultural spraying careers,” Air Tractor reported in a tribute to Snow.

A memorial has been set for 2 p.m. Feb. 26 at the Air Tractor facility in Olney.