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Manoj Kari of Goma Air

What does it take to start an airline? Aidan found out in 2011 while helping train the pilots of Goma Air, a new small air taxi operator in Western Nepal. Before he returned to the U.S., he interviewed Goma Air’s Managing Director, Manoj Karki. This is our first exploration into the business side of oddball flying.

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Stan Churches

Stan Churches has arguably done it all in his flying career. He flew checks across the mountains of the southwest, hauled corporate executives around the world in jets, and helped save lives as an air ambulance pilot. These days he’s the Chief Pilot of Clearwater Air in Alaska, doing precision survey flying in a Commander 690 full of scientists. It’s interesting work, and you’ll hear all about it in this interview.

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Interview with a Military Contract Pilot

Published on September 15, 2013 by in Interviews

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Afghanistan Aerial

Have you ever wondered what it’s like flying for a military contractor in a war zone? In this transcription of an interview with an anonymous military contract pilot you’ll read about the hiring process, the living accommodations, the lifestyle, the work, and the risk. The opportunities are changing with the world’s political situation, and it’s definitely not a job for everyone. But if you know what you’re getting into, it’s interesting work that pays quite well.

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If you need to haul unwieldy loads to and from short rough strips, you can’t do much better than the Skyvan. It may look like a flying shoebox … but it gets the job done! Join Ryan Air pilot Mike Gray for a tour.

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Plotting an Oddball Flying Career

It’s easy to find information on how to become an airline pilot. But what if your ultimate goal is a less traditional flying job? Aidan recently posed this question to his F/O and the second shift crew from Era Alaska in Nome. The result? Some good perspectives and advice, especially if you’re just starting your career in aviation.

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Interview: Vic Olsen

Published on July 27, 2013 by in Interviews

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Vic Olsen

Vic Olsen’s been flying in Western Alaska for almost 40 years. He’s a rare exception to the “Grouchy Bush Pilot Syndrome” that hits most pilots once they’ve been working in the bush for a long time. Put simply, he loves flying. Last summer Aidan finally sat down with Vic at Nome City Field to look back on his interesting career.

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From Vietnam to Magnum, P.I. the Hughes OH-6 Cayuse and its civilian variants have been reliable high performers. Take a detailed look at one of Bering Air’s new MD 500s in this video walkthrough–our first featuring a helicopter!

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Aidan finally interviews Corey Konik, the Bering Air helicopter pilot who played a role in the Mount Osborne rescue we covered back in May. While they talk briefly about the rescue, most of their conversation is about helicopters: learning to fly them, and making a living doing it. There’s lots of good advice for you if you’re considering a rotary wing career.

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June Update

Published on June 12, 2013 by in Updates

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A quick look at what’s coming up next on Oddball Pilot.

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Base Drivethrough: Bethel, Alaska

Published on June 9, 2013 by in Videos

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Bethel is a place where many new pilots start their Alaskan flying careers. It’s also representative of a typical bush hub. Join us for a 51-minute driving tour of the largest community in Western Alaska. Along the way you’ll visit the airport, the town, and some residential areas. You’ll also hear about what it’s like to live and work there.

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