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Old 08-11-2006, 09:56 PM   #1  
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Question Alaska Jobs

To those of you who are in Alaska, how difficult is it to find a job up there? While I have heard that you can walk up and down the streets/docks and find a job almost immediately, I am sure that is a tad bit inaccurate. So, what does it take to get a job flying in Alaska? What kind of hours are they looking for and how much? Are they mostly 135 ops, or are there 91 ops, or flight schools looking for people? I know that there are bad and good operators, just like everywhere else, but what are the opportunities?
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Old 08-11-2006, 11:29 PM   #2  
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Even if your Chuck Yeager on floats, I'm not sure about immediately finding a job by wandering around up here.

Take Flight and other flight schools hire instructors. LAB and a few other 135 operators may hire people at 135 minimums (500 hours). Many 135 operators want more time, or Alaska time. A 121 FO job will require fewer hours than most 135 pic jobs. Then there are Cargo FE and FO jobs.

I got my first job by calling every operator and speaking with the chief pilot or someone involved in hiring. I was offered a slot in ground school, with the unspoken provision that I prove I could actually fly. Got my second job by cold calling the chief pilot in person.

How many hours do you have?
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Old 08-12-2006, 08:14 AM   #3  
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Thanks for the info. I have right around 420TT, 40ME, 15 Tailwheel. I plan on instructing here (Western Washington) until I finish my degree, but after that I would have more than the 135 VFR minimums. I would rather fly smaller planes into unimproved places than 121 type operations. I would love to fly a Beaver or a Cub or something, but I know those jobs are fewer and harder to get.

What you said is about what I was thinking of doing. Just get a list of all the operators up there and start calling, faxing resumes, and just getting my name out there. I assume that the pay is about what I would expect for most other 135 places, almost enough to live on, but not quite?
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Old 08-12-2006, 11:33 AM   #4  
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Wings of Alaska, out of Juneau is a place where a low experience guy can get a shot at flying a Beaver. They do require more than just 135 minimums. Like most places, they do their hiring in the spring. It couldn't hurt to call places now and find out what you need to do to be hirable when you are ready.

Pay really varies. For the most part its better than lower 48 135, in most cases lots better. LAB (Juneau, their pay sucks) and Grant (Anchorage, I think) are places where lots of pilots here have gotten their starts. If you approach flying here with less than 1000 hours, take whatever job you can get. After you get some 135 Alaska experience finding a better paying job shouldn't be a problem.

And be careful. Get the job done when its safe, turn around when its not.
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Old 08-12-2006, 02:35 PM   #5  
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I was looking at the Wings of Alaska page and saw their minimums. They require "500 hours Alaska or Pacific Northwest time". I have done all my flying in Bremerton, WA, right at the base of the Olympic mountains, and just a few miles from the Cascade Range. Is this going to be a benifit for me? Perhaps help me get a job easier, and or sooner?

I am not sure what LAB or Grant are. Airlines, I guess, but I cant find websites for them or anything. I am planning on going up to Alaska for a vacation next Spring. I will get my float rating while I am there so I can write off the trip. I am thinking of stopping by as many places as I can while I am there to see what they are looking for. I will start by calling a few now just to see what the required mins are for starting positions.

Thanks, Izakplt, for your help.
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Old 08-12-2006, 04:51 PM   #6  
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LAB Flying Service www.labflying.com
Grant Aviaiton www.flygrant.com

Your Washington time sounds like it will work to me. I'm not sure if there is much getting around their 1500 hour requirement, though. I just looked at Grant's page and they also want 1500 hours. PenAir does too. If you really beat the bushes I think you might find a 135 opearator with lower minimums. LAB is worth a look. 121 or freight sic time up here could qualify you for some 135 pic jobs. Good Luck.
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Old 08-14-2006, 12:54 PM   #7  
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Word around the ramp is Hageland is really hurting for 207 guys. Show a willingness to work in the bush and see rural AK, and 600 or 700 hours is fine. So I hear.
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Old 08-14-2006, 06:49 PM   #8  
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Man I know I will get jumped for this but I would avoid Alaska like the plague if you hope to be an airline pilot one day. Airlines and charter companies have a dim view of Alaska style flying and don't hold much stock in it at all. An Alaska job just leads to more Alaska jobs and it is difficult to get any good turbine time in the bush. I would stay in SEA and work the ramp for contacts a little more. Don't go to Alaska unless you are prepared to take a career hit and possibly die.

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Old 08-14-2006, 08:40 PM   #9  
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SkyHigh is wrong. See the old thread "Alaska 135".

http://www.airlinepilotforums.com/showthread.php?t=2639

Last edited by lzakplt; 08-14-2006 at 09:05 PM. Reason: to add a link
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Old 08-14-2006, 09:19 PM   #10  
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Ya know, I am not really sure that I want to go fly the big shinny jets anyways. I think that I would much rather fly around mountains into short strips in a Super Cub. Flying IFR between two airports for the rest of my life sounds a little dull. I am trying to decide if I should fly for a living in AK, where it would be more "fun" flying, I think, or fly a big shinny jet and make enough money that I could have my own little airplane that I could have fun with on my days off.

I have seen the old Alaska 135 thread. I have talked to a few people about it, and have come to the conclusion that some airlines like it, some don't like it as much as other things I could do. A CFI that I work with has a Dad who is a high up guy at Alaska Airlines, and he says that he really likes to see Alaska bush time on a resume when he hires someone. I doubt every airline is like that, but really, if I wanted to go to a big airline someday, don't you think that Alaska Airlines would be a good choice?

That being said, I have contacts that will walk resumes into SkyWest, Express Jet, Big Sky, and Great Lakes. I don't have the hours to be spreading resumes around yet, so I have about a year to really make up my mind. I am just thinking that I would be happier in AK. I could possible die anywhere I fly out of. You have to take responsibility where ever you fly and don't kill yourself. If that means I loose a job at some time, I find a better and safer place to work.
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