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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.

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A loud boxy airplane, a hard-working crew, and you in the jumpseat …

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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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Aidan and CloudDancer

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!

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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.

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A quick update from Anchorage, where Aidan met up with one of our Oddball Pilot Network members. Here’s what’s coming.

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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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Join us for an in-depth look at Magic Air Tours’ 1929 Travel Air 4000 biplane. Owner Rod Magner gives us a complete tour of the aircraft’s exterior and interior, sharing the aircraft’s history and what’s he’s learned during more than 6,000 hours flying “Magic One.”

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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.

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Ketchikan

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).

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