Q&A Session 003

Published on April 29, 2013 by in Q&A

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Our second Q&A session with some of the Era Alaska pilots in Nome worked out so well, Aidan decided to head across the ramp for another.

Here’s Q&A Session 003, recorded last night. Good questions, good answers, and good pizza.

The Era Crew

The questions were sent to us via comments on posts, the Contact page, and our Facebook page.

This was another wide-ranging conversation that covered:

  • Bypassing the SIC program at Era
  • Does having aerobatic training help you get a job (or fly) in the Alaskan bush?
  • What sort of flying can you do with one airplane and a Part 135 certificate?
  • Flying skydivers
  • Moving into civilian flying from the military
  • Wildlife survey flying
  • Aerial firefighting
  • Cessna 406 jobs
  • Low time pilot jobs
  • What kind of airplane to buy to build time
  • Making the transition from sea captain to bush pilot
  • U.S. work permits for foreign pilots
  • Aviation in China
  • Flying jobs and flight training in Russia

Plus, Aidan finds out who bought his old Luscombe.


Press the Play icon to begin streaming the audio, or right-click the text link and choose Save As or Save Link.

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Right-click to download the MP3 file (41 minutes – 18.9 MB)

Have questions of your own? Add a comment below (or in any post). Or, send us a message using the form on the Contact page. We’ll try to get you an answer in our next Q&A session.

Better yet, become a member of Oddball Pilot, get access to the Oddball Pilot Network, and hear what oddball pilots from around the world have to say!

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10 Responses to “Q&A Session 003”

  1. Matt says:

    Thanks for the info guys.

    I had read a few articles and stories by some old school bush pilots who claimed aerobatic training was a must, which is why I asked. Glad I can use that money for something else. But yea, I bet it’d be a blast to do. Just have to put it in the bucket list.

    I had looked at buying an old champ for the same time building purpose. Ended up joining a 172 flying club instead. Cut my hourly cost in half, and didn’t have to worry about all the responsibilities and headaches of full ownership. Plus, got a great group of guys to fly with. Not saying every club is as good, but do the research of what’s around. Of course, you could start a club with your newly purchased aircraft. AOPA has been promoting clubs lately and would probably help with setting it up.

    • Aidan says:

      That’s a good thought. I’ll look into the flying clubs. I know glider clubs are very popular as well. Thanks for the info Matt.

      • Matt says:

        Lemme know if i can be of assistance on the flying club info.

        Another angle on gliders, some Civil Air Patrol wings operate them. Our wing is just now getting their glider program going. I can’t wait!

        • Aidan Loehr says:

          I was just out climbing with a friend of mine who is a paraglider pilot and he thinks that a powered paraglider could be a cheap search platform as well. He was also speculating that unpowered paraglider could be used to fly out victims off of high mountain accident sites.
          He’s living in Chamonix in the French Alps and looking at the terrain I think he may have a point even if it sounds very Indiana Jones like.

  2. Gareth says:

    Thanks also guys.

    It would be good to hear from a non US national who has managed to get a work permit and a job bush flying in Alaska to kick start their careers and who knows maybe even stay in the US permanently.


    • Aidan says:

      I hear you Gareth. There is a similar problem in the mountain guiding world. Most of the pilots I know who managed to get work permits married into the system. Evidently there is a lottery system as well. I’ll look into the Federal regs on work permits.
      Hmmm.. I’ll also ask around some more and see if can find a Chief Pilot who has some insight on the matter. It’s been a tough subject for me to get good info on. I’ll keep digging.

  3. Ward Hurlburt says:

    For the guy thinking about buying an airplane for time building. I’ve got a 65hp Taylorcraft that only burns 4 gals/hr. They can be had for less than $20k. I put 26″ ak bushwheels on mine and it is a great little beach and gravel bar cruiser. Better take off and landing performance than its heavier metal Cessna and Luscombe cousins, slower cruise however, but if you building time who cares.

  4. Lucas says:

    Thanks for the input on buying a time builder, both in the interview and the comments. I’ve heard the Luscombe requires more precise control compared to the Cessna, which is more forgiving, and that’s why I would be more interested in it. Makes a better pilot, right? Buying an IFR plane would really stretch the budget, so it’s good to know small taildragger time will be just fine. Cheaper is better!
    I will look into flying clubs too. Here in Minot ND there are only two clubs I know of, a Cherokee 180, I believe, and of course the ubiquitous 172.
    Thanks again. Awesome site.
    BTW, is there any way to stop and replay a section of the audio on the website?

  5. david williams says:

    I got a great deal on a 140 with an 0-290D. Really takes right off though just today I found out in cleaning and looking over the tailwheel that the springs are rigged in a way that is causing the instant response ( and possible tail wheel excursion in a crosswind) After not flying for 10 years the bi-annual went OK but in stiff winds, but no wonder with the tailwheel like that did the steering seem so different and touchy. Owning your own can be a real cost. I am an A&P also so welcoming the TLC to get er back to solid piece of equipment and get some currency. If your not an A&P buying a plane can have some surprises unless you really look it over. If you want the experience and like fixing planes…..Two hours rental flying same price as a set of prop bolts. Once in the air again, its about 40 bucks an hour for gas and great fun and a challenge for me. I’d join a good club with sharing of costs and less risks though if being more conservative and you can put all your investment in to the flying. That said you could buy a plane, fly it and sell it for more with doing little to it other than pre-flights. I was in a club that shelled the right engine on a travel air cause everyone thought someone else would change the oil and no one ever did. Expensive new engine.

  6. Yorik Cade says:

    Mr. Loehr
    Thanks for the Q & A session. Answered many questions.
    Audio quality was great also FYI.

    You hang around Paine field ever?

    See ya around.

    Yorik Cade
    Wannabe pilot

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