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Old 09-04-2011, 03:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Alaska Bush Flying for Time-Building

I was wondering what sort of minimums there are for a single-piston pilot job in the Alaskan bush.

Could such a job be had after having just received a commercial? - i.e. could Alaska bush flying be used in lieu of banner-towing, flight instructing, etc.?
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Old 09-04-2011, 03:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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500 hours is pretty much the bare minimum for a job in Alaska.
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Old 09-04-2011, 04:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It's going to be more difficult to get an Alaska job than a CFI or banner job and a lot more dangerous too. It looks like all the smaller AK operators are looking for at least around 1000 tt. There are some good threads on this topic already; just search "alaska bush" or something similar and a bunch will pop up.
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Old 09-04-2011, 08:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Heres a great website for Alaska jobs Alaska flight operations and Alaska Flying
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Old 09-05-2011, 12:41 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The FAA minimum pilot experience requirements to fly as PIC (pilot-in-command) under FARs Part 135 is 500 hours: Federal Aviation Regulation Sec. 135.243 - Pilot in command qualifications.. 100 hours of that has to be cross-country time, and of that 100 hours, 25 hours has to be night cross country. Most Alaska operators require a minimum of 1000 hours. There are a few who will hire at less than that, but none for PIC positions without at least the legal minimum of 500 hours. Most operators also like to see some Alaska time or equivalent (mountain time) and some time in type. This is probably an insurance requirement. There are occasional co-pilot jobs that come up which require only the commercial, instrument and multi-engine certifications. Penair is one of those companies, but only very occasionally do they have to settle for a new SIC (second-in-command) with less than 500 hours TT. They require a two year employment contract and you barely make a living wage.

Probably the best way to get a job flying in Alaska if you don't have at least a thousand hours or more is to move there and give flight instruction until you acquire the hours necessary. Anchorage would be a good starting point. Take Flight Alaska, Take Flight Alaska, often hires flight instructors as there is a fairly steady turnover as pilot/flight instructors move on to air taxi jobs. The Aero Club at Elmendorf Airforce base also provides civilian flight instruction, and Artic's Air Academy in Palmer is another.

So in my opinion, the best way to acquire flight time is to give flight instruction. You get paid to do it. You'll learn a whole lot more than you already know and you build flight time.

There is an Alaska bush flying forum that may provide you with some useful information at: Alaska Bush Flying

Alaska flight operations and Alaska Flying is a good source of information.
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Old 09-05-2011, 12:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monguse View Post
Probably the best way to get a job flying in Alaska if you don't have at least a thousand hours or more is to move there and give flight instruction until you acquire the hours necessary. Anchorage would be a good starting point. Take Flight Alaska, Take Flight Alaska, often hires flight instructors as there is a fairly steady turnover as pilot/flight instructors move on to air taxi jobs. The Aero Club at Elmendorf Airforce base also provides civilian flight instruction, and Artic's Air Academy in Palmer is another.
Take Flight Alaska was purchased by Land and Sea Aviation. So go to them to see if they are hiring.
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Old 09-05-2011, 04:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The link, Take Flight Alaska, is still valid and on their website they state that they have merged with Land and Sea Aviation. So if you're not in Alaska you can go to their website or to Land & Sea Aviation Alaska for more info.
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Old 09-09-2011, 10:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Ryan Air takes low time pilots with a Commercial ticket and puts them in the right seat of a CASA 212 for a year, then moves them to the C-207. From there you are eligible to move into the Skyvan or back to the CASA.

Era hires low time pilots into the right seat of the Caravan. After accumulating enough hours (I can't recall the figure, but it's in the range of 1000 - 1200) you go to the C-207. Era (which operates under two or three certificates due to the acquisition of Hagelands and Frontier) has a varied fleet, so you could eventually go into a Navajo, a Caravan, a King Air, or a Conquest.

I don't know if Grant or Bering Air have similar programs, but it wouldn't surprise me.

Yute hires lots of low time people, but they fly in all but the worst weather. Pretty much considered the employer of last choice.

Bush flying is really great, but I wonder if it's the right fit for people aiming on the majors. It's perfect for the type of person who loves to fly for the sake of flying and for the person who likes the Alaska lifestyle. It's not right for the person who is expecting predictability in his schedule or operations, terrific living conditions, a mild climate, or spit and polish planes. However, it is exactly the right thing for some of us.

If you are the more adventurous type you should look into it. Don't bother mailing or emailing resumes: they won't get you a job. Instead, go to Anchorage with a stack of resumes and make the rounds. Speak to the Chief Pilot (he will almost always talk to you if he's in town).

Good luck

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Old 09-09-2011, 02:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Panzon View Post
R
Era hires low time pilots into the right seat of the Caravan. After accumulating enough hours (I can't recall the figure, but it's in the range of 1000 - 1200) you go to the C-207. Era (which operates under two or three certificates due to the acquisition of Hagelands and Frontier) has a varied fleet, so you could eventually go into a Navajo, a Caravan, a King Air, or a Conquest.

And you could get featured on Discovery's "Flying Wild Alaska!" Overly dramatic and often misleading descriptions of what is actually going on in relation to normal flying that people have no idea about.

From some things that were posted, that whole thing was for the Daughter, no one else.
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Old 09-09-2011, 08:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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...., that whole thing was for the Daughter, no one else.
Mmmm, Ariel...she kept me watching!
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