Second Wind

Published on July 8, 2014 by in Essays


When an unexpected medical issue grounded bush pilot Ross Nixon, he played it safe and left flying for another career. That didn’t last long though, as you’ll read in this eloquent essay about what happens when you stray from your passions … and what happens when you find your way back.

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The Gray Area

Published on February 8, 2014 by in Essays


The ferry flying business involves far more than just flying airplanes around the world. Often the weight of an entire deal rests on the ferry pilot’s shoulders. In his first piece for Oddball Pilot, Alex Haynes explores what it’s like working in the high-pressure area at the intersection of aircraft sellers, buyers, and brokers.

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When Aidan was climbing in Afghanistan last fall, his climbing partner Dylan Taylor mentioned he had written a story about a Kenn Borek Air flight he was on in Antarctica a few years ago. He sent us the piece and included some great photos. Together, they provide a nice introduction to what it’s like to fly a Twin Otter over the coldest, driest, and windiest continent on the planet.

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The Price of Experience?

Published on December 17, 2013 by in Essays, Interviews


Times have changed in the skies above bush Alaska. As the culture changes, do experienced pilots need to conform? It’s a controversial question worth pondering.

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It Must Have Been the Fish

Published on July 31, 2013 by in Essays

Bethel Hold

Bouncing around in small airplanes for a living is not always as glamorous as it sounds. And yet, as Ross Nixon discovered one day after things got really ugly in the cockpit, the pleasant memories more than make up for the ones we’d just as soon forget.

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The Great Key Drop

Published on March 7, 2013 by in Essays

Rod Nixon

As Ross Nixon found out at an early age, sometimes the oddball flying jobs you don’t get paid for are the most rewarding!

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Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Published on December 13, 2012 by in Essays

Noatak Grand Canyon Fire

Fire season always brings lucrative work to air services in Alaska. When Ross Nixon headed to McGrath for his first season flying fire contracts, he had no idea how much he’d like the job … or what music had to do with it.

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