Job outlook for Alaskan pilot?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by DMD3., Jul 11, 2021.

  1. DMD3.

    DMD3. Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2014
    Messages:
    294
    Location:
    Tifton, Ga

    Display name:
    DMD3.
    Assuming that you had the required ratings and enough hours logged, how easy would it be to get a career in aviation in Alaska? I’ve never really wanted to go the airline route, but I think it’d be awesome to fly a smaller aircraft such as a Kodiac Quest, a Cessna 207/208, a Beaver/Otter, etc. There are many different aviation operations in different parts of the state, so in general would it help if I racked up some tailwheel time as well?

    I realize the pay would be mediocre to start with. I recently saw an ad on Indeed for a second-in-command pilot of a Stationaire, and I believe the requirements were to have an IFR & Commercial rating and 2nd class medical and that was it, no 500 hours required (if I’m remembering correctly). But the annual was only around $30k. But something like that would be good to get in the door, I think.
     
  2. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Messages:
    14,040
    Location:
    high desert NM

    Display name:
    Billy
    Flood the state with your resume.

    Take any job you are offered.

    Meet many folks, get your face and name known, show willingness to live in horrid housing, willingness to work in severe cold and/or wind, and work for folks that got their job not by knowing how to do it but by brown nosing the right people, be able to put up with a-holes, show a willingness to fly VFR in weather that would be considered hard IFR anywhere else. Show a willingness to load 1000 pounds of Pepsi, cigarettes, diapers, baby formula, coffee and leave fuel behind to keep the W&B close to limits. Learn the term ''pocket gas''. Be prepared to be told you can't have lunch because a flight needs to go NOW. Be prepared to carry a dead body along with family members. Be prepared to tell folks they can't go because they are drunk. Don't be surprised to get fired for any reason, especially passenger complaints. Don't be surprised to find out some of the worst pilots get better opportunities because they have their nose firmly entrenched in the chief pilots arse.

    It is not easy, folks won't like you because of any stupid little reason. You will quickly learn how to tell if folks are eating fried fish and seal oil.

    The further north you go, the friendlier the locals are after they get to know you, and that may take 1 to 5 years, and when you are in, you might not even know it. I went there thinking I would have great opportunities to hunt and fish, and did neither in all the years I spent in Alaska.

    I loved every minute of it.

    P.S. Second in command of a Stationaire (C-207) means you are really the the guy that loads/unloads bags, freight and mail, paperwork person and fueler. Plus cleaner of barf from the already stinking airplane, as well as taking out the barf bags that someone peed in and put in the seat back. You might get to fly legs that have no revenue onboard. If you get that job wait a month or so and apply at other companies.
     
  3. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan En-Route

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Messages:
    4,674
    Location:
    NorthEast Texas

    Display name:
    Doc
    Wow! Sounds like a wonderful life. Sort of reminds me of the Army.
     
    Zeldman and TCABM like this.
  4. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2015
    Messages:
    4,114
    Location:
    KLAF

    Display name:
    455 Bravo Uniform
  5. DavidWhite

    DavidWhite Final Approach PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Messages:
    6,632

    Display name:
    VBP
    If you have 500 hours most of the 135s will pick you up and put you in a 207. I am unaware of anyone running a right seat program in “stationairs” unless you mean 208s. I don’t even know if anyone is even running right seat programs in those since RAVN shut down.

    It’s a lot of fun, but it’s also a lot of work. I will say, things have changed a lot for the better since I started flying up there. Most certainly they have changed a lot since @Zeldman started up here. The old school “bush pilot” mentality of just go out there and get it done has been dying a slow and painful death, but it is definitely dying.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2021
    Kent Wien and Zeldman like this.
  6. NordicDave

    NordicDave Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2015
    Messages:
    2,269
    Location:
    Monterey County

    Display name:
    NordicDave
    Watch "Hey, I'm Alive". Ed Asner seemed like the common crusty ole Alaskan bush pilot.

     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2021
  7. Todd82

    Todd82 Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2017
    Messages:
    668
    Location:
    Southwest Ohio

    Display name:
    Todd
    Don't flirt with the Tweto girls, that probably isn't good for the career path.