Dispatch: Work!

Published on November 21, 2012 by in Dispatches

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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.

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Flying can be a lonely pursuit at times … especially when the outcome of a long flight is in doubt. In those rare situations, simply being able to connect to another human being via radio can make a big difference. In the powerful short film North Atlantic, an isolated air traffic controller in the Azores receives a distress call from a lost plane. Listen in …

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Dispatch: Bethel, Alaska

Published on April 21, 2012 by in Dispatches

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Aidan’s back where he started, flying a Cessna 207 out of Bethel, Alaska. Bethel isn’t for everyone … yet as a busy regional air taxi hub to dozens of bush villages, it’s where many Alaskan flying careers have begun. Get an overview of what it’s like to live and work there, in this latest Dispatch.

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Dispatch: Operation Santa Claus

Published on December 23, 2011 by in Dispatches

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A National Guard C-130 blocking the ramp at the tiny coastal Alaskan village of Wales isn’t something you see every day. What’s even more unusual is when you see a figure looking suspiciously like Santa Claus climbing on board!

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Dispatch: Jumla

Published on September 29, 2011 by in Dispatches

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With a 2,000-foot paved runway at only 7,815 feet MSL, Jumla is regarded by pilots as one of the best airports in Western Nepal. When Goma Air’s new Caravans touched down there for the first time last February, the pilots were met by a huge crowd, a band, and reporters. Not quite as big a reception as Lindbergh’s arrival in Paris in 1927 … but close!

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Dispatch: A B-17 Frozen in Time

Published on August 3, 2011 by in Dispatches

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One of the great things about oddball flying jobs is that you frequently see oddball things. In his latest Dispatch, Aidan discovers that a rusty hunk of metal next to a taxiway in Talkeetna is a portal into an oddball airplane (and an oddball flying job) from long ago: the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress.

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Dispatch: Goin’ to Kathmandu

Published on May 6, 2011 by in Dispatches

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Ferrying small airplanes around the planet is boring at times, nerve-wracking at others, but always a fun way to see the world. Come along as Aidan ferries a Cessna Caravan from Seattle to Kathmandu via Bangor, the Azores, Malta, Luxor, and Oman.

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Killer Chicken

Aidan is currently in Western Nepal for a month, helping some experienced Twin Otter drivers get experience flying the Cessna Caravan. Short and rough strips at 9,000 feet MSL make for some interesting flying. But the real hazards seem to be on the ground!

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