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Northern Air Cargo pioneered delivery of oversized cargo to remote locations in Alaska back in 1956, and they’ve been hauling freight around the state ever since. These days they fly Boeing 737-200s and -300s throughout Alaska, and to locations in the lower 48 and in Mexico too. In this interview, NAC’s Chief Pilot Nate Martin talks about his career, the history of the company, what he looks for in pilots, what the job is like, and how it’s changed along with the fleet.

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Ravn Alaska Timetable

After a series of heavily publicized accidents, Alaska’s Hageland Aviation Services (doing business as Ravn Connect) completely overhauled their operational control process. Incorporating elements of a Part 121-style airline dispatch operation into a Part 135 air taxi company, a new state-wide operations center based in Palmer has changed the way Hageland’s pilots assess and manage risk as they fly in the Alaskan bush.

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Second Wind

Published on July 8, 2014 by in Essays

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DC-6

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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“A Tremendous, Joyous Romp …”

Published on April 15, 2014 by in Misc.

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Bethel Sunset

The life stories of oddball pilots often read like adventure novels. Like all good books, you don’t want them to end. In this short tribute, Ross Nixon remembers his friend Derrick Cedars.

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“Ketchikan: The Bush Pilots”

Published on April 11, 2014 by in Videos

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Dream of flying seaplanes? You’ll love this rousing cinematic tribute to the history, airplanes, people, and geography of Southeast Alaska.

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Member Q&A Session 002

Published on February 10, 2014 by in Q&A

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In our second interactive Q&A call just for Oddball Pilot members, the conversation was about where Alaskan aviation is headed, who’s hiring right now, lodge work, safety, jobs in Africa, and the secret to finding interesting work.

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The Price of Experience?

Published on December 17, 2013 by in Essays, Interviews

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Wreck

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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Ask Clearwater Air Chief Pilot Stan Churches what he thinks of the Commander 690 and he’ll tell you it’s “a pilot’s airplane” that’s uniquely qualified for certain missions. See why in this 37-minute video walkthrough, shot as Stan prepared to depart Nome for a seal survey over the Bering Sea.

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Member Q&A Session 001

Published on October 28, 2013 by in Q&A

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In our first interactive Q&A call just for Oddball Pilot members, Aidan and a few guys from Era Alaska provide perspectives on getting your first job flying in Alaska if you’re a low-time pilot. How many hours do you really need? What do you put on a resume? When’s the best time to apply? The conversation went so well we’ll be doing more of these!

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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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