Discover Kodiak Blog

Alaska Bush Pilots

Written by: Posted on: December 31, 1969 at 7:00PMPosted in: Main Topic
Alaskan bush pilots have romanced Alaska's native land for almost 100 years now- when they first began making headlines and featured articles. Alaska bush pilots navigate through Alaska's wilderness and harsh conditions using instruments and road less geographics.
What does being an Alaskan bush pilot consist of? The answers are so far from what people would expect. Most bush pilots fly float planes to remote villages and wilderness locations. Yes, the air is often freezing, but summers are said to be worth it. Yes, it can be  lonely, but not unless you are only hauling cargo constantly. Pilots are usually talking to each other via the radio, providing useful information or just passing time. It's a great fraternity if you belong to it for any amount of time. The pilots of Alaska tend to be like brothers, regardless of the company- they gather at the end of the day to exchange tips and stories.

When you are an Alaskan bush pilot, you become a vital part to sustaining the community. Alaskan pilots are not just another face, they are helping each person sustain their lifeline to the outside world, they get to know and interact with many of their passengers. Occasionally, they spend the night at their homes in remote locations waiting for weather to break- having a drink or looking at photos. They often times will be flying medi-vacs or food for an entire village. Alaska bush pilots are a helping hand. They work long hours to provide transportation to your family, while all the time missing time with theirs. Flying is not a job in Alaska, it is a way of life.

Alaskan pilots work hard for the pay you make, both physically and flying-wise. Flying in Alaska tends to be a seasonal operation, and it some times hard for someone to make a living with only bush piloting income. If they have the experience, they can often make a career of it. Alaska is known for its long hours of daylight in the summer- and more often than not, every hour of daylight is utilized for flight scheduling.
Bush flying can be dangerous and requires a great deal of skill and knowledge of their surrounding parts. They must always keep up on the weather and set personal limitations. Alaska's weather is rapidly shifting from one hour to the next, which occasionally makes for harsh landings and rough flying conditions, emergency landings on to frozen lakes or hidden beaches is not uncommon.

If you love the outdoors and aren't scared of working hard, come to Alaska. The sights are astonishing, the people are amazing, and you will not get this kind of flying experience anywhere else!


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