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Thread: Building flight time?

  1. #1
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    Post Building flight time?

    Hello,

    I'm a private pilot with 170 hours of flight time still working on instrument and commercial rating. I would like to make a career as an alaskan pilot. I'm currently also in college for BS in aviation management.
    Is there any ways to cut down on costs to be able to build flight time as I'm limited on funds and how much I can fly a year between college tuition.

    Also, who do you consider a bush pilot? Are there still flying careers in Alaska for bush pilots? Or is term professional bush pilot not even used in Alaska anymore? This is a career I've been pursuing my entire life, and would be really grateful for some help and mentoring.

    Thanks,
    Dan

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    Default pm me

    you going to school local to anchorage. If you are maybe we can sit down at a coffee shop and discuss this. There are lots of options. The good thing is your getting that 4 yr degree!

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    Member Rich_in_AK's Avatar
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    Default Bush Flying

    Dan, It depends on what your goals are. Do you really want to fly the bush or do you want to work your way up to an airline/cargo job? I got many good flying hours in the CAP and a beaver float checkout in the process. After that I was able to land a commercial job flying beavers in the bush. On the other hand if you want to be an airline pilot stick to the wheel planes, again CAP for free time building , then an air taxi job. Get your CFI as soon as possible so you can start earning money flying instead of paying for it.

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    Member algonquin's Avatar
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    Default

    The bad news, there isn't any easy way. The good news there are ways, and if there was an easy way you chose you wouldn't make it in the business.
    CFI is the first good step, as you learn how to recover from lots of mistakes and your aircraft handling in general gets real good. You also might show up at lake hood and start at one point and walk from one operator to the next until you find a job being a loader for someone and also get back haul flight time. You usually won't get too much time that way thou but you may end up with a job when you get 500 hours and you'll get to know other pilots and operators and that means opportunities. Good luck. Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich_in_AK View Post
    Dan, It depends on what your goals are. Do you really want to fly the bush or do you want to work your way up to an airline/cargo job? I got many good flying hours in the CAP and a beaver float checkout in the process. After that I was able to land a commercial job flying beavers in the bush. On the other hand if you want to be an airline pilot stick to the wheel planes, again CAP for free time building , then an air taxi job. Get your CFI as soon as possible so you can start earning money flying instead of paying for it.

    Rich,

    I really don't see myself taking an airline job, bush flying is something I've been wanting to do my entire life because of the type of flying it is. If anything away from bush flying it would be for an Air charter or Air taxi service.
    Before you get your CFI... through instrument,commercial and building time towards the commercial, would you say paying for the flight time is really the only way to get it untill you a CFI rating?

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    Member algonquin's Avatar
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    Default

    The only ways that I know of is taking friends for airplane rides and sharing expenses. You can also look for ferry flights for people and not charge. Just keep it legal as a violation at this stage could really hurt your future.
    You might also try an ad in the paper and see if you can find someone that needs a safety pilot for training or someone getting older that would like a back-up pilot or just company. Try everything you can think of.

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    Ok, really appreciate the information guys.

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    Default Only cheap way

    I have rented and I currently own my own my second plane, short term renting was cheaper. My suggestion would be to find a girl friend with a couple of planes and a fuel station. Also have her add you to her insurance policy.

    Good Luck, Terry

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    Member TWB's Avatar
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    I have rented and I currently own my own my second plane, short term renting was cheaper. My suggestion would be to find a girl friend with a couple of planes and a fuel station. Also have her add you to her insurance policy.

    Good Luck, Terry
    I found one with a 180 on floats.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

  10. #10

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    Don't worry....I was in your shoes as well at one point.
    After I finished my instrument I started to log all those cross country's needed for the commercial. Rented 172's, a few low wing Pipers and from time to time some high performance. Got together a bunch of buddies that wanted to sight see along the way and have them help for cost. You can make $100 dollar hamburger runs "as we called them" to Seward, Homer, Fairbanks, King Salmon, Dillingham and etc.
    I was also a A&P during that time so I could trade work for flight time in various aircraft.
    Get out and meet as many folks as you can. Without networking you aren't going to make it far. They won't know you....if they don't know you.
    I was lucky enough to get a job in Bethel at 500 hrs. Flew all over the state for about two years. Then it was Lake Hood for several seasons and now I fly wheel plane Cessnas for an operator out of Anchorage.

    And all this from a farmboy who couldn't tell you which end of the airplane flew first. If I can do it, so can you.
    Go get 'em !!!!!!

  11. #11
    Member mit's Avatar
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    Default Bush Pilots

    That era is in the past. Lots of wannabes but they would need a time machine to be a real one.
    Tim

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