Ex MN Ag Pilot interested in moving to AK
Any advice on how to get a foot in the door flying and what areas have good modified Jeep wheeling and mountain climbing snowmobiling spots?
I have about 5000 tt COM/INST SEL, 4000 ag from S. Texas to N ND/Mn (1500 turbine), champ, cub & super cub (wheels & ski) C-180 & Pa36-300 towing a glider, C-210, C-182, C-172
I am a farm kid from Minnesota. I graduated from the U of Mn Crookston with BS in Agronomy w/ minor in Aviation.
Most of time spent flying in TX panhandle to S Rockies in the summer and snowmobiling in West Yellowstone in the winters.
Alot of it in Alaska is walking in the door at the right time. It seems hard to get hired up here without AK time and just sending up a resume. However, once you get a some AK time things can get pretty easy in some locations.
If I were you, I would talk to the chief pilots at Hageland Aviation and Grant Aviation. They are bigger operators in Bethel with outlying bases in the vicinity, and they always seem to need pilots. The pay is just ok, and I know Hageland provides housing for a nominal fee while you work your 2 weeks. Think Grant is 20 on, 10 off, and not sure about housing.
As for Bethel- some like it, some hate it. It is not exactly postcard gorgeous. Off the road system, so plenty of snowmachining, maybe some hill climbing, I would think very little 4x4 offroading.
Trying to work out of Anchorage is harder- that's where many pilots want to live, which turns Anc into something of a senior base. PLus, not that much single-engine wheelplane stuff here. However, if you have some twin time you could check into PenAir. They might take a look at you for right seat in one of their twins.
Better not have any bills.
And have a wife with a good job.
I agree, Bethel is a good place to start, probably the most flying jobs in the State. If you're into snowmachining, there's lot's of wide open spaces, but for the mountain climbing enthusiast it tends to be a little "vertically challenged" unless you venture quite a ways to the east. Good four wheeling in the winter on the river...you can always go down to the Johnson river and do some ice fishing. I enjoyed Bethel, but one needs an escape. I had my airplane and enjoyed flying down south and landing on the beaches. Carter Spit is good for Bird hunting and very uncrowded.
I currently reside in Fairbanks. Probably not quite as many jobs as Bethel, but they're there if you show up at the right place at the right time. The landscape may be a little more what you're looking for, and it's easier to get out and about here without the crowds the Anchorage area can have.
I'd say your time, even though it's not Alaska time, gives you some advantage. You might call Wrights or Warbelow's, or if you don't mind a copilot or F.E. job get ahold of Brooks Fuel, Everts or Frontier.
Good luck. If you have good flying skills and sound judgment you will do fine up here. You're welcome to pm me if you have any more questions.......Louis
is hiring. Application online. That's worth a shot.