Photo: Paul Roderick with his sister Lisa at Kahiltna Base Camp, the starting point for Denali climbers. Lisa is the Base Camp manager.
Our first Oddball Pilot interview is with Paul Roderick, owner and Director of Operations of Talkeetna Air Taxi in Alaska.
TAT has been around since the early days of Alaskan flying, helping pioneer flights to Mt. McKinley, finding glacier landing sites, supporting climbing expeditions, and assisting with mountain rescues. Today the company also provides more extensive expedition support, including logistical support, route checks, and helping climbers recon new routes.
In this interview, you’ll hear Paul talk about:
- How he became the owner of TAT
- His initial impressions of glacier flying
- How the business has changed over the years
- What he looks for when hiring new pilots
- What the pilot schedule and lifestyle is like
- His favorite aircraft to fly
- Finding new landing areas on glaciers
- The challenges of glacier flying
- TAT’s relationship with other operators in Talkeetna
- Gaining experience and learning good judgement as a glacier pilot
- Managing risk
- How he finds new pilots
- Talent vs. flight time
- The importance of intuition and the ability to feel
- Life in the off-season
- Interesting resumes he’s received
- How to get a job flying in Alaska
Press the Play icon to begin streaming the audio, or right-click the text link and choose Save As or Save Link.
Did you like this interview? Leave your comments below.
Be sure to also check out our Talkeetna Air Taxi Aircraft Walkthrough video, in which Paul introduces you to two of the most rugged bush planes in existence: the DHC-3 Turbine Otter and DHC-2 Beaver!