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It’s been just over a month since our last post, and with good reason: Mike was travelling in India, and I was guiding a climbing trip up Denali (Mt. McKinley) in Alaska. The good news is that with Mike back home in Seattle now, and with me settling into flying for Talkeetna Air Taxi in Alaska, we’ll be posting new content more frequently in the months ahead. We have a backlog of interviews and other material we’re reviewing and editing as quickly as we can.
We were struggling with what to post next when the answer presented itself via an email we received from a Polish pilot working on his Commercial certificate in Oregon. He wanted to know how hard it was for a foreign national to get a flying job in Alaska. Coincidentally, when I was flying in Nepal back in March I had recorded an interesting conversation I had with two other pilots living in Surkhet about just this topic, among others.
Daniel (from France) was working with me teaching the guys at Goma Air to fly the Caravan, and James (from New Zealand) was in Nepal flying a P-750XL. With our varied backgrounds and experiences, we had lots of questions for each other.
Apologies for the loud wind noise at times. If you’re interested in the subject matter, don’t get discouraged … most of the interview sounds fine.
In this interview you’ll hear about:
- Oddball flying opportunities in New Zealand (instructing, scenic flying, skydiving, glider towing, crop dusting).
- The importance of making the effort to get face time with potential employers (instead of just emailing a resume or calling).
- How instructing can help you build your network.
- How flying in new places accelerates your experience-building.
- How to get a flying job in the United States if you’re from another country (getting visas, etc.).
- Why you’d want or need a European Joint Aviation Requirements (JAR) license, and how to get one.
- How JAR exams are more difficult than FAA exams.
- How international pilot licensing requirements relate to aircraft registration.
- The importance of being clear about your goals as a pilot if you want to reach your ideal job quickly.
- All about fish-spotting jobs (there are lots of them around the world).
- How to get a job in Alaska if you’re a foreign pilot.
- The different types of Alaskan flying jobs (and the different types of runways you land on).
- The importance of radio communication when flying in rural Alaska.
- The challenges of flying in and out of rough strips (in Alaska and Nepal).
- The realities of flying off-airport in Alaska (and how to get a job if you don’t have any experience doing that sort of flying).
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