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Thread: older Bush Pilots

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    Smile older Bush Pilots

    What are chances of an older, (seasoned) pilot of landing a Bush Job in Alaska ? I flew in Alaska for one summer back in 1983. I am now a young 59 year old. (retired from the Jet Jockey stuff) I have 19000 hours, (ultralights to B-747), CFII, MEI, A&P, and 550 hours on water. Still in great health. Do you think some operator would give me a chance and start me at the bottom and let me work my way back ? What's your honest opinion ? Thanks

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    I think you would have an excellent chance with certain operators. several of them prefer older seasoned pilots whose judgment is honed and whose risk taking inclinations are tempered by experience. Take a look at my website, www.flyalaska.com for more info and email me for more specifics.

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    Smile thanks

    thanks for the resonse...

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    There was somebody looking for a turbine pilot out of Anchorage that just might be up you ally. Empire Airlines out of Bosie Idaho is looking for Cessna 208 pilot for Anchorage. Seems they been having problems keeping the seat filled. I don't know that the issue is, I applied myself, I am an older guy myself, turning 57 in a couple of weeks. I don't think with an A+P and float time you should have to much of a problem finding a job. But with this economy all of us pilots are going thru some pretty lean times. Me I just fly light singles twins and helicopters. That and $ 1 I can get a cup of coffee at Mc D's.

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    Smile c-208

    Quote Originally Posted by BH206L3 View Post
    There was somebody looking for a turbine pilot out of Anchorage that just might be up you ally. Empire Airlines out of Bosie Idaho is looking for Cessna 208 pilot for Anchorage. Seems they been having problems keeping the seat filled. I don't know that the issue is, I applied myself, I am an older guy myself, turning 57 in a couple of weeks. I don't think with an A+P and float time you should have to much of a problem finding a job. But with this economy all of us pilots are going thru some pretty lean times. Me I just fly light singles twins and helicopters. That and $ 1 I can get a cup of coffee at Mc D's.

    Thanks for the tip on the c-208. I've been applying for every job I see and I am beginning to think you have to go up there and be in the area to land a job. I can see their point of not wanting to hire a pilot they have never met. That's my next plan is to go up there in my p/u camper and hang out. My son is off to college, the wife kicked me out and my dog died, so I am good to go. I wish things would turn around like they were in the 1990's. But I fear those days may never come back.

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    Try Rust's or K2.

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    Thanks, you guys are very helpfull....I hope you are all working at the jobs you want !!!

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    I believe Gary Porter who owns Bald Mountain Air is looking for a single Turbine Otter pilot for North Slope work. Ski time is a plus.
    He wants somebody who is seasoned and knows turbines.

    I have seen certain other 135 type operations who have run of older pilots since they intimidate the younger empty heads. Gary is not one of those.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gstangl View Post
    Thanks for the tip on the c-208. I've been applying for every job I see and I am beginning to think you have to go up there and be in the area to land a job. I can see their point of not wanting to hire a pilot they have never met. That's my next plan is to go up there in my p/u camper and hang out. My son is off to college, the wife kicked me out and my dog died, so I am good to go. I wish things would turn around like they were in the 1990's. But I fear those days may never come back.
    Is this a country and western song?

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    Gary is an old herring spotter friend and would be a great guy to work for. His airplanes are kept in top-notch shape and his business is varied and interesting. Checkout his websites: http://www.baldmountainair.com/baldm...nsc/index.html
    and http://www.baldmountainair.com/.

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    For some Real Fun try Everts Air in Fairbanks, Bush flying in C47's and DC6's
    That my friend is the ultimate

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    Default Funny !

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska2flyin View Post
    For some Real Fun try Everts Air in Fairbanks, Bush flying in C47's and DC6's
    That my friend is the ultimate

    Is wish it was just a "country western song".......Good tip on the baldmountain deal. I'd pass on the C-47/DC6 gig. That's for you young guys. I wouldn't want to take a job from a young guy trying to get to the bigger rigs. Plus, if you haven't done it.....A "two man crew" can be an absolute great time or a total nightmare if your paired with a "weak-dick"....I am looking for the peacefulness of a single pilot crew. I've been dealing with the two man crew my whole life and it's now time for a change. You always want what you don't have !!! thanks for the info

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    Your welcome, thought I'd throw that in.
    Just get to Anchorage, stear yourself to Lake Hood.
    Lots of operators there, wheels, ski's floats

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    Of course the one man crew (C-206s 207s, 208s) also means that you load / unload the plane much of the time... Plus you get to act as a collections agent for unpaid bills in the village.
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    Float Pilot,

    Maybe whoever you worked for flying to villages, figured that you were tough enough to be a collection agent. In all the years that I loaded and unloaded 206s, 207s, 185s, 180s, twin otters and beavers I must have been considered sufficiently wimpy looking enough that I was never asked to collect a dime from any of the villagers along the Yukon, on the North Slope, in the interior, Yukon-Kuskokwim delta, Bristol Bay, or even in the only two villages in Prince William Sound. But, if I had a nickel for every pound of stuff that I have loaded and unloaded from airplanes in Alaska, I would be rich.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Monguse View Post
    Float Pilot,

    Maybe whoever you worked for flying to villages, figured that you were tough enough to be a collection agent. In all the years that I loaded and unloaded 206s, 207s, 185s, 180s, twin otters and beavers I must have been considered sufficiently wimpy looking enough that I was never asked to collect a dime from any of the villagers along the Yukon, on the North Slope, in the interior, Yukon-Kuskokwim delta, Bristol Bay, or even in the only two villages in Prince William Sound. But, if I had a nickel for every pound of stuff that I have loaded and unloaded from airplanes in Alaska, I would be rich.


    That's one of the reasons I am attracted to the single pilot deal. I miss the exercise of loading and unload after sittin on my butt. Was surprised to hear about the "collection" duties. That sounds interesting. I do not like confrontational stuff though. "I won my last fight by a block and a half"....

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    Monguse,
    In all those years you never had to wander over to the local AC store to track down Joe Blow who owes the company $80 for the cases of beer and Pingles you hauled a couple weeks back???
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    Float Pilot,

    Strangely enough, I never did have to do any bill collecting of any sort, whether it was a beer run to Fort Yukon (before they went dry) a snow machine to Nuiqsut, or any of the villages on bypass mail runs. Maybe I lucked out, because like gstangl, I'm not much for confrontations except on rare occasions when the safety of the flight was in question due to inappropriate behavior from a passenger.

  19. #19
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    I used to live in Fort Yukon. The City owned and ran the liquor store at that time. There were around 900 people in Fort Yukon back then and it was a second class city. The Air Force still had the DEW line radar station going and the RCA guys worked at the White Alice site. Folks were leaving when I was there, and now I think there are only around 550-580 people left...

    If you had to pick up somebody from Birch Creek and fly them up to Chalkyitsik,,, how did they pay their fees? Or did you guys have agents in those villages???
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
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    Typically, in that area, intervillage travel tends to be from villages like Chalkyitsik, Venetie and Birch Creek to Ft. Yukon. (liquor is still sold in Ft. Yukon) In many cases the pilot will be told by passengers either that they settled up with the company or that someone will meet the plane in Ft. Yukon with the money. It takes experience with that route and talking to company folks and other pilots to figure out who is going to be good for the money and who probably isn't. A new pilot in an area is probably going to get stiffed a time or two. Just a fact of life.

    Another thing to think about is that while many operators have the means at the home base to figure accurate weights for loads and inform the customer how much they can take, when you go to pick folks up out in the sticks you're on your own. You'll find yourself picking up passengers along with a pile of stuff (rock samples, moose meat, etc.) and it will be up to you to determine the weight and how much of it you can safely take off with from that strip. If you take two loads to haul what could have been legally and safely done with one, you're going to get folks upset. If you try to fly in one load what should have been done with two, the results could be much, much worse. You did fly up here for one summer I see, so I don't suppose I'm telling you anything new. Just be courteous, professional, resolute and firm and most people aren't going to give you much trouble about either money or loads.

    I don't see you having too much trouble finding a flying job up here if you get on it. Showing up in person will definitely give you an advantage....Louis
    Louis Knapp

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