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  • New Guy

    Hi!!! I am new here to these forums. I live in Colorado and I really want to move to Alaska after high school. I plan to be a bush pilot or maybe airline pilot. Can you make a living flying the bush or should I be an airline pilot and fly the bush the days I am not flying for the airline? I know a lot about aviation and have read the book Flying the Alaska Wild by Mort Mason so I know about the bush. I am a cadet in the Civil Air Patrol. I really enjoy flying.

  • #2
    Sharp Shooter

    I have a son about your age and he has similar goals. What I tell him is to start college, study hard, get good grades and GRADUATE!! THEN concern yourself with the flying business. You have nothing but time. NOW having said that, I have done a lot of both types of flying you describe and wouldnt do anything else. Good luck to you whatever you do and dont be afraid to ask for help and advice along the way!

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    • #3
      I agree with Cubpilot, get that College done. My Father gave me that same advice...I didn't heed it and wish I had.

      That being said, there's no reason you have to delay your move to Alaska, if that is your wish. I don't know what you're studying, but we have a good University here in Fairbanks. There's also an excellent 1 year A&P program here, and I highly recommend working that in eventually, if you're going to fly, especially in your own airplane. I'd recommend flying through college, also, if you have the time and finances to manage it.

      As far as bush flying vs. Airlines. I make my living flying around AK in small airplanes (I go to "bush" villages, but don't consider myself a "bush pilot") and manage to make ends meet. It's not going to offer the same pay and benefits as you could potentially get in the airlines, but I don't like being away from my home, hate big cities, airports and hotels, so this fits me a fine. There's no reason, however you can't do this first, then try the airlines. You can always come back to this kind of flying if the airlines aren't your cup of tea.

      Hope this helps......Louis
      Louis Knapp

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      • #4
        As for how accurate Morts book may be... read through this thread.

        http://www.supercub.org/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=11563

        I was a CAP cadet at one time. Right here in Alaska. I spent all my spare time at the airport when I was not out hunting or shooting.

        I left Alaska for college (well I did some of it here) and then spent six years mostly outside of the US on active duty.

        Upon returning full time, I still loved flying, but had two kids & a mortgage who needed me to have a 12 month a year job with real medical benefits. So I went into crime fighting full time, the military reserves part time and flying part time.

        Eventually I was able to fly full time. But only because I did something else first.
        Float-CFI, Photo Guide, Fishing Guide, Remote Kayaking
        Guest Cabin, Flight Reviews, Aerial Tours

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        • #5
          about how much could I make on a good year flying the bush. You can do both. Airline pilots work only a few days a week. I would like to try to make a living flying the bush. I plan to get my Bachelors in Proffesional Pilot through University of Alaska Anchorage. Fairbanks only offers the assosiates. My in a few years they will offer the bachelors. They kind of direct it to bush flying. Atleast if bush flying fails I could be an airliner and fly bush in my spare time.

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          • #6
            Similar plans

            I have similar ambitions as Sharp Shooter, I am also looking at UAA's aviation program.
            Sharp Shooter, Some good reading about Alaska, the "Bush" and flying are:
            Wager with the wind, by James Greiner
            Alaska's Wolf Man, by Jim Rearden
            Glacier Wings and Tales, By Jack Wilson
            King of the Ice, by Helen Corbin (My dad knew Don Johnson)
            And Shadows on the Kouyukuk, by Sidney Huntington
            I live in fairbanks, and am a sophmore at West Valley High School.
            Last edited by riverboater; 11-20-2006, 18:02.
            "When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it."
            Henry Ford

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            • #7
              enjoy the reading...

              embrace the reality. Get an education. Get real. Fly for fun, work for a living.

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              • #8
                You left out
                Winging It, by Jefford
                Mudhole Smith, by Janson
                The Shadow of Eagles, by Billberg/Rearden

                Then after you get all of the old hanger stories packed into your head.
                You can read something that will do you some good.

                1. The Mountain Flying Bible by Imeson.
                2. Tail-Dragger Tatics by Imeson.
                3. The pilots night flying handbook
                4. Your Jeppesen Text
                5. Just about anything that Rod Machado writes
                6. Bill Kerschners books.

                Then read Broken Wings, a nice list of Alaskan aviation disasters.

                Unless you have a time-machine, you will never get to fly with, or just like, guys like Sheldon, Hudson, or Mudhole. The FAA, planes and Alaska itself has changed.
                (most of those guys were ex-military themselves)

                If you want to haul folks and freight in and out of villages or lodges, you will have to compete for jobs with other young guys and gals who graduated from places like U.N.D. (N Dakota's avaition program).
                They will lie, cheat and sleep with the dead , just to build the hours they think they need to go fly jets for United Airlines. They show up every summer and leave every winter. The romance and history of our homeland is mostly lost on them.

                Float Pilot
                Float and Tail-wheel CFI
                http://www.floatplanealaska.com




                xx
                Float-CFI, Photo Guide, Fishing Guide, Remote Kayaking
                Guest Cabin, Flight Reviews, Aerial Tours

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                • #9
                  Thanks for the link. I really like it. I know I just can't start out flying for an airline so I will have to get up hours first before I even try to get an airline job. I could start off making some money flying the bush. If if goes really good maybe I wont need to expand to airliners. Maybe I will. Sounds like a good plan to me!

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                  • #10
                    Experince

                    You need expereince to fly in the bush too. Especially if you are actually doing "Bush" charters.
                    "When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it."
                    Henry Ford

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                    • #11
                      For some interesting AK flying storys take a look at what this guy writes----

                      http://www.supercub.org/phpbb2/viewforum.php?f=34

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Sharp Shooter View Post
                        Thanks for the link. I really like it. I know I just can't start out flying for an airline so I will have to get up hours first before I even try to get an airline job. I could start off making some money flying the bush. If if goes really good maybe I wont need to expand to airliners. Maybe I will. Sounds like a good plan to me!
                        Sharp Shooter,

                        Do yourself a favor and get your ratings through FBO's and not through a university, you will save a ton of money! In the end you'll still have the same tickets.
                        Also, don't take the "bush" flying lightly. Job wise it may be a step down from the airlines, but skill wise it's a step up. It can be a lot of fun, but Alaska is unforgiving!
                        Good luck with all your career endevors!

                        Yamahain'

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                        • #13
                          I am up to a challenge. I will start out freight for experiance then go to charters.

                          Thanks you all a lot!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Float Pilot View Post
                            As for how accurate Morts book may be... read through this thread.

                            http://www.supercub.org/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=11563

                            I was a CAP cadet at one time. Right here in Alaska. I spent all my spare time at the airport when I was not out hunting or shooting.

                            I left Alaska for college (well I did some of it here) and then spent six years mostly outside of the US on active duty.

                            Upon returning full time, I still loved flying, but had two kids & a mortgage who needed me to have a 12 month a year job with real medical benefits. So I went into crime fighting full time, the military reserves part time and flying part time.

                            Eventually I was able to fly full time. But only because I did something else first.
                            This is an old inquiry, but it begs the real scoop!

                            Mason's book, "Flying the Alaska Wild," has elicited some pretty harsh criticism. I'm here to tell you the following: Nowhere did he say that he loaded 500-lbs of caribou aboard that Super Cub. The rack (there was only one caribou!) was tied on the right float. The rifles were strapped to the jury strut on the right side, in accordance with an approved Form 337. There was about fifteen gallons of 80-octane fuel in the tanks. And ..... this wasn't a pleasure flight: winter had set in and these two hunters simply had to be extracted. Period.

                            Beyond that, there isn't one iota of BS in the entire book. Take it from the author!

                            Mort Mason

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I hope you logged onto the supercub site to set the offending thread straight....
                              Float-CFI, Photo Guide, Fishing Guide, Remote Kayaking
                              Guest Cabin, Flight Reviews, Aerial Tours

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