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Alaska flying

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Well-known member
Nov 27, 2001
I am currently tossing around the idea of flying in Alaska. My questions revolve around how to get work there and what to look for in terms of employers. I plan to be done with my ratings through CFI by late winter or spring, which I understand to be a good time to look for work up there. If any of you could point out a few pros and cons of flying in Alaska and anything that would be useful I would greatly appreciate it.

ps- I have a learned a great deal reading all of your posts and hope some day I can spread the same type of wisdom!
I had tossed that idea around too and learned that flying in Alaska is quite dangerous if you don't know the terrain very, very well. I haven't flown there but I have found that the best way to get a job in the lower 48 is to walk a resume in to the chief pilot.
God's country

I have flown about 1000 hours in Alaska, mostly out in the Bristol Bay Area. On and off the beaches and doing all the great things you do with airplanes in Alaska. Alaska is totally diffrent from flying down here. I flew up there 1980-84 so things have changed quite a bit with GPS and all the other stuff. But they still need pilots but you must remember that the averge Alaskan has between 25,000 and 30,000 hours. Guys that are 21 have thousands of hours already as they have been flying since they have had diapers. Once you are in the bush to go anywhere you jump in your Cub or whatever. Everyone in the bush as their "hunter" airplane-no airworthiness certificate or anything, kinda like a dune-buggy. The FAA has no choice but to look the other way. The only way to get "in" in Alaska is to start instucting out of Anchorage, or do what I did, take your own airplane up there.Once you have about 500 hours AK time you can move to Bethel or Dillingham and start flying the bush. That takes time and is hard duty but what you learn will stay will you for a lifetime. The best flying experience's and my most cherished memories are from Alaska. I would still be there but my wife got tired of living 400 miles from the nearest road. I would move back in a heart-beat. Maybe after I have to retire from the airlines I'll go back......
Alaska flying is awsome! I was born and raised with virtually all of my time built up there. It sounds like it may be a little easier getting a job in Alaska than a few years ago. For instance the outfit I worked for only required the comm-multi cert. to fly right seat in a twin otter, 121, with no min. hour requirement. There is countless 135 operators up there, in the Anchorage area and out in the bush. I have to agree that the flying is dangerous if you don't know the terrain, but having flown in the lower 48 the last year, I think you'll find it to be second to none. Drop me a private message and I'll give you any info I know on the outfit your interested in.


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