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.
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 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!
Rod Magner started Magic Air Tours back in 1991 with a 1929 Travel Air 4000 biplane and a simple passion for sharing the magic of flight. 21 years later he’s still at it on Washington’s Orcas Island, changing lives one artful flight at a time.
Southeast Alaska offers some stunning scenery, challenging weather, and great jobs for the right sort of pilot. Last April Aidan sat down with Cable Wells and Pat Goodrich of Island Air Express to discuss the flying opportunities in Southeast (and on Kodiak Island, where Cable grew up).
There aren’t many operators looking for pilots with turbine and amphib experience, who also have polished instrument skills. Island Air Express in Southeast Alaska is one of them. Last Spring, Aidan met up with Chief Pilot Pat Goodrich in Ketchikan to hear more about what he does and what he looks for in the pilots he hires. If you like floats, turbines, and IFR, this short interview is well worth a listen.