In this first interview exclusively for Oddball Pilot members, Aidan talks to Brad Janssen, Flight Operations Manager for Digital Aerial Solutions. Brad has more than a decade of experience flying aerial surveys of all different types. It’s an interesting niche that combines flying with cutting edge technology. Intrigued? This interview will point you in the right direction.
When a climber on Alaska’s Mount Osborn recently pressed the 911 button on his Spot Tracker satellite GPS messenger on April 20th, an emergency response was quickly launched out of Nome. Aidan recently sat down with Jim West Jr. and Larry Eggart from Nome Search and Rescue to discuss aviation’s role in the mountain rescue.
The Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander has been operating in remote areas and off short, rough strips since the first one rolled off the factory line in 1965. Last summer Aidan visited McCall Aviation in Idaho, and recorded this video walkthrough of their Islander for you.
After Aidan delivered a Caravan to Safarilink at Wilson Airport in Nairobi, Kenya last summer, he sat down with pilot Shahid Rasuel to learn a bit more about what they do (fly tourists to dirt strips at safari camps in Kenya and northern Tanzania, and to paved strips at beach resorts on the Kenyan coast). There’s a good elephant story in here too.
Ben Rowe’s parents founded Bering Air in 1979, and over the years he worked his way up from painting the hangar floor to being Chief Pilot. In this interview you’ll hear about the history of aviation in Nome, what it’s like to work for the company, what it’s like to live in Nome, and more!
If you’ve seen Plane Xtreme on The Weather Channel you’ve met legendary ferry pilot Steve Hall. After a long battle with cancer, Steve took his last flight on December 15th. In this audio recording, Aidan and Alex Haynes reflect on Steve’s unique contributions to aviation.
When John Corcoran finally took a vacation after 10 years of flying in Alaska, he discovered a whole world of interesting flying jobs. Shortly thereafter he found a gig working for a South African company flying a Let L-410 on humanitarian aid contracts in central Africa. Last summer, John sat down with Aidan in Nome to chat about his experiences, and to offer his advice about how to get a job flying in Africa.
A lot of people get into aviation because they don’t want a “real” job. In his latest Dispatch, Aidan ponders the meaning of “work,” and realizes that he’s happiest in the sort of flying jobs many pilots would run from. There’s some great food for thought here, as well as some inspiring photos from his time working in Nepal and Western Alaska.
A chance encounter with a bush pilot in 1973 sent a low-time 19-year-old pilot from Texas north to Kotzebue, Alaska. He flew the bush for 16 years before returning south to fly for a major airline. If you’ve spent much time in Alaska you may have seen CloudDancer’s books about his adventures. If not, you’ll want to read them after getting to know Cloudy in this great interview!
Plane Xtreme is a new reality show on The Weather Channel that “chronicles the adventures of an elite group of pilots who deliver small aircraft to points across the globe.” Aidan (who participated in the filming and is in next week’s episode) watched the first two shows and was pleasantly surprised by what he saw. Here’s his review.