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Marty had been intrigued by the Pilatus Porter PC-6 STOL for years, but had never actually seen one in person. But when he walked through the gates at AirVenture 2015 in Oshkosh a few days ago, there it was. Inspired, he couldn’t help doing some research. If you’ve ever dreamed of flying a PC-6, this overview will point you in the right direction.

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We’ve been wanting to explore aerial firefighting for a long while. After all, it’s one of the most oddball flying jobs out there! Marty gets the ball rolling with this overview of some of the opportunities, and what it takes to get in the door.

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Our new addition to the Oddball Pilot team, Marty Blaker, is headed to Oshkosh next week for AirVenture 2015, and that got him thinking about airshows and the pilots who perform at them. Here are the results of some research he did about becoming an airshow pilot. Think it’s impossible? We actually know someone who got there.

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A quick update on what we have coming for you on Oddball Pilot, from the stunning vantage point of High Camp on Aconcagua (the highest mountain in the western hemisphere).

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Northern Air Cargo pioneered delivery of oversized cargo to remote locations in Alaska back in 1956, and they’ve been hauling freight around the state ever since. These days they fly Boeing 737-200s and -300s throughout Alaska, and to locations in the lower 48 and in Mexico too. In this interview, NAC’s Chief Pilot Nate Martin talks about his career, the history of the company, what he looks for in pilots, what the job is like, and how it’s changed along with the fleet.

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Ravn Alaska Timetable

After a series of heavily publicized accidents, Alaska’s Hageland Aviation Services (doing business as Ravn Connect) completely overhauled their operational control process. Incorporating elements of a Part 121-style airline dispatch operation into a Part 135 air taxi company, a new state-wide operations center based in Palmer has changed the way Hageland’s pilots assess and manage risk as they fly in the Alaskan bush.

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It’s definitely corny by today’s standards, but Tales of the Gold Monkey is still a fun, inspiring TV show that’s a bit addictive–especially if you’re an oddball pilot.

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DC-6

When an unexpected medical issue grounded bush pilot Ross Nixon, he played it safe and left flying for another career. That didn’t last long though, as you’ll read in this eloquent essay about what happens when you stray from your passions … and what happens when you find your way back.

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Jeremy Ellison worked as a carpenter and a mountain guide for many years, until he decided to become a commercial helicopter pilot in his mid-thirties. He’s now flying scenic tours out of Las Vegas in a turbine AS350 AStar. Here’s how he did it.

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High pile of hardcover books

If you’re headed for a flying career, you need some education. Don’t spend your hard-earned money before you listen to this great conversation Aidan had with Karl Baldessari, the Director of the Aviation Program at Central Oregon Community College in Bend. He lays out all your options, along with the pros and cons of each path.

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