I just found this website and was hoping to get some info. I got my private in montana a few years ago and am now in florida doing some ratings. while my fellow students want to fly big airliners, id rather get into flying in southeast alaska. what are some things i can do get a career going in that direction. seems like people want alaska time to be considered for employment. how does one get this time? just curious if anyone in here has words of advice for an aspiring bush pilot. thanks
Well, all you really need is a good back and a desire to work with minimal time off. I don't mean to paint a bad picture, but bush flying in southeast isn't a career unless you hate time off and money.
Originally Posted by montanaflyer
The best thing for you to do would be fly at some place that will hire you with minimal time (L.A.B.) for a summer. (Be prepared to get treated like crap and pressured to fly in bad weather) Then if you still like it, look into buying a 182 or something and start a single pilot 135 operation. Just a suggestion. Hope it helps.
I'm not real familiar with Southeast, but I know there are some outfits in Anchorage on Lake Hood that pay their pilots quite well. Good summer jobs at some lodges too. Long hours in the summer can be expected, of course.
If you want Alaska time, the logical thing to do is move to Alaska and start flying. You can still buy an Aeronca or T-Craft on floats for no more money than some folks have in their new trucks and you can be building Alaska float time even if you have to start out with some kind of ground job to pay the bills. You may have to keep an open mind about where to start your flying career. There are some jobs in Bethel that hire low timers and pay a living wage, and some of those folks aren't too bad to work for.
I make my living flying small planes in Fairbanks and like Alaskan villages, mines and hunting camps a whole lot more than I like huge airline terminals and hotels. If you decide later to go with the airlines, you'll have the flight time and you can always come back to this. Hope this helps....Louis
The local 135 outfits here pay around $30 an hour for FLIGHT TIME. Which they decide. Not you. So if they say it should take 15 minutes for a certain flight leg between village A and village B, it does not matter that it was raining so bad you took twice as long to get around the storm cells.
Then you come to the unpaid part of the day.
Loading the planes,,, unloading the planes,,, trying to get the customers to pay,,, waiting while their relatives bring money,,, waiting for the customer to come back after he made a liquor store run,,, cleaning out the plane,,, fueling the plane,,, trying to figure out where that weird smell in the back seat came from...
Usually this can turn into a 14 hour duty day. During which you may only fly 4 hours according to your pay check.
The one-man 135s do better since they are their own boss. (well really the weather, the nagging customers and the bill collectors are the boss)
There are mandatory insurance hoops you have to jump through and it really pays to be an A&P as well as a pilot.
Plus find a spouse with a good job and a better sense of humor.
I am wanting to become a bush pilot to. I do not like big cities and that is what is drawing me away from airliners. However airline pilots only work 3-4 days a week depending on the schedule leaving you a lot of free time to fly the bush. Then you can be a part time bush pilot.
Merry Christmas Sharp Shooter!
email me when you get to Anchorage. We'll start your venture into reality land at that time............