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Thread: Finish private in AK or lower 48?

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    Member agoyne's Avatar
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    Default Finish private in AK or lower 48?

    Hello Everyone,

    BTW, I've enjoyed reading all of the threads that you guys have on here. I have a question. I'm in the process of buying a remote cabin in Skwenta area. I've almost finished my private but it seems I've had bad luck with instructors. I have went through 3 so far. Two of them were older gentlemen that had their medicals taken away and the other one was a young fella and he got on with a commercial airline. I have all the hours(and then some) required to take my checkride. My written has ran out, so I'm ready to take it again. Now, I can't even find a CFI within 2 hours of where I live. I work offshore so I am gone 31 days and home 28 days. My plan is to get my license and then come to Alaska and get some bush pilot training, floats, and ski's. I want to buy a plane and keep it in the Talkeetna area because it will be a short flight to the cabin. Since most of my flying is going to be in Alaska, I thought it might be a good idea to finish my private up there. What do you guys think? Would my checkride be easier in the lower 48 or should I do it in AK? If so, who would be a good person to finish me out.

    My company made me go to Houston for training about a month ago and I flew in the evenings about 4.5 hours at a flight school there. They said I was real good in the plane(stalls, engine out emergency procedures, slow flight, steep turns,hood,etc...), I just needed to study up on the FAA regulations as far as the Practical Test for my checkride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by agoyne View Post
    Hello Everyone,

    BTW, I've enjoyed reading all of the threads that you guys have on here. I have a question. I'm in the process of buying a remote cabin in Skwenta area. I've almost finished my private but it seems I've had bad luck with instructors. I have went through 3 so far. Two of them were older gentlemen that had their medicals taken away and the other one was a young fella and he got on with a commercial airline. I have all the hours(and then some) required to take my checkride. My written has ran out, so I'm ready to take it again. Now, I can't even find a CFI within 2 hours of where I live. I work offshore so I am gone 31 days and home 28 days. My plan is to get my license and then come to Alaska and get some bush pilot training, floats, and ski's. I want to buy a plane and keep it in the Talkeetna area because it will be a short flight to the cabin. Since most of my flying is going to be in Alaska, I thought it might be a good idea to finish my private up there. What do you guys think? Would my checkride be easier in the lower 48 or should I do it in AK? If so, who would be a good person to finish me out.

    My company made me go to Houston for training about a month ago and I flew in the evenings about 4.5 hours at a flight school there. They said I was real good in the plane(stalls, engine out emergency procedures, slow flight, steep turns,hood,etc...), I just needed to study up on the FAA regulations as far as the Practical Test for my checkride.
    Neither flight nor flight instruction is quite the same in the Lower 48. My recommedaton is that you rinish your PPL in Alaska. You'll never be sorry for doing that. And - - - good luck with your flying.

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Sounds like you have almost all of your training completed down south already. So it is a tough question, either just finish the darn thing down there... While you are still in the learning curve,,, or wait until you get up here and hope you do not forget much of what you just learned...
    Either way you will have to learn to fly Alaskan Style sooner or later.
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    Yea, and fly as much MVFR as you can handle, then you won't be "Shell Shocked" when you get flying in the Great Land.

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    Member agoyne's Avatar
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    I am definately looking forward to doing some Alaska flying. I've been wanting to come to Alaska my whole life. I took a job on the north slope for a couple years and found out what the true north is really about. I love Alaska. In my spare time, I want to go to the airport and talk to some of you real bush pilots. I know ya'll don't much like greenhorns up, but I don't want to go flying around like I know everything(which I don't) and get someone hurt or killed. I know my limits. You have to start somewhere. I would like to be where I could help out at an airport if they needed some supplies dropped off somewhere or something like that. Any excuse to be in the air is good enough for me. I just waited too long in life to figure that out. I will be 40 this year. I got a few more good years though. Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by agoyne View Post
    I am definately looking forward to doing some Alaska flying. I've been wanting to come to Alaska my whole life. I took a job on the north slope for a couple years and found out what the true north is really about. I love Alaska. In my spare time, I want to go to the airport and talk to some of you real bush pilots. I know ya'll don't much like greenhorns up, but I don't want to go flying around like I know everything(which I don't) and get someone hurt or killed. I know my limits. You have to start somewhere. I would like to be where I could help out at an airport if they needed some supplies dropped off somewhere or something like that. Any excuse to be in the air is good enough for me. I just waited too long in life to figure that out. I will be 40 this year. I got a few more good years though. Thanks
    If you're going to be in Anchorage, I'd recommend that you have [or get] a float [seaplane] rating. You'll find more "bush pilots" at those flight services on Lake Hood than anywhere else there. MOST of those operators flying wheels are FBOs who focus more on instruction, charter, and rentals than actual bush flying. And they don't like to rent airplanes to someone who is clearly going to fly to someplace [a field or strip] that isn't maintained and hard surfaced. They most certainly won't encourage you to fly to a beach, sandbar, gravel bar, a mountain ridge, or the tundra someplace out there in the weeds. Float pilots, by their vary nature, fly the outback areas. And many of them operate off skis during the winter months.

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    Member agoyne's Avatar
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    Yeah I was thinking of flying out of Talkeetna. Which do you recommend Above Alaska or Alaska Floats and Skis?

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    Quote Originally Posted by agoyne View Post
    Yeah I was thinking of flying out of Talkeetna. Which do you recommend Above Alaska or Alaska Floats and Skis?
    Either, really.

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    If he is talking about a SES (float-Plane rating) after his private, he should be talking to me. He'll get more flying time and be in an insured aircraft.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
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    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    If he is talking about a SES (float-Plane rating) after his private, he should be talking to me. He'll get more flying time and be in an insured aircraft.
    I might be heading to AK in the next 18 months for a float rating as well as possibly some hunting. I'll be sure to hit you up

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    Member agoyne's Avatar
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    I'll have to hit you up Float Pilot. You are out of Homer?

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Yeap, the way things are thawing right now the upper lakes will probably not be thawed enough until late May or early June. My house is at 1000 ft MSL and I still have 3 feet of snow. Some of the lakes I like to visit are at 1,200ft msl.
    Beluga lake in down-town Homer just thawed in the last day or two. There is still some pack ice floating back and forth but for the most part it is open water.
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    Member agoyne's Avatar
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    I'm suppposed to be down your way the last week of July fishing. I'll have to come down and meet ya.

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