Flying in Alaska

turbojet28

Well-Known Member
Hello everyone,
For the past while I have been thinking how cool it would be to build time in Alaska as a CFI when the time comes. I went there last year and fell in love with the place. I guess I just have a few broad questions. Are there ample opporitunities in Alaska for CFI's or is it pretty "tight-knit"? Kind of along the same lines, are there good networking opporitunities (airline wise) in Alaska? Also, what is your opinion on learning and building time in Alaska for the airlines (i guess in essence I am asking if Alaska time is at all advantagous in the airlines' eyes)? Thanks!

TJ28
 

sixpack

New Member
I'm not sure how much training is done in Alaska, but there are a lot of other flying jobs there.

I'm a CFI in Oregon, and many of my students are from Alaska (mostly ATP's but a fair number of Multi Comm and MEI students). People flying in Alaska say the really love it. One problem with Alaska is that they don't get much instrument experience (at least not until they get into bigger aircraft). I had one student from Alaska with 900 hours, who logged his first hour of actual (IMC) with me on a training ride in Oregon.

If you don't find a CFI job, and you have 500+ hours and a commercial, I'm sure you'll find something else there.

Also, look into "Capstone". It's a new system (collision/terrain avoidence) they're implementing up in Alaska. Knowlege in this area will make you more marketable.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
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I'd think wintertime IMC in AK is pretty much suicide unless you're burning Jet A.

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A little lacking on the NAVAIDS up there for the WX they get.....
 

Buzo

Well-Known Member
Since I am currently flying in Alaska, I can answer some questions. I moved up here in February as a CFI and instructed for a little while until getting my current job flying for a 135 company. Jobs are pretty scarce just like everywhere else. It just depends what part of the state you are wanting to fly in. There is a lot of training going on up here.

As for IMC time, you can get some. The freezing level will give you some problems, but there are ample times to fly in the clouds without worrying about the ice. A lot of times it is too cold. I have gotten about 35 hours of actuals in the last month and we only had ice a few times ( I am flying a known icing airplane).

If you want to fly in Alaska, almost all the companies want Alaska time. The amount varies from company to company. I have seen 50-500. There are some airlines that like seeing Alaska time on your resume. One of them being Alaska.

There are jobs up here, but you must network. The company I am flying for has run new hire classes all winter and spring. Most companies are looking for at least 1500 hours, although there are exceptions. I was hired with under 1100tt.

As for Navaids, there are plenty of them. There aren't as many NDB's as I expected, and a lot of VOR's.
 

John_Jones

New Member
Hell, If you're moving up to Alaska dont do CFI fly the bush! I know some one who does it and he says it's a lot of fun. I want to do it soon but dont havbe the cash or the wifes support to move me her and our baby a couple thousand miles. I mean the way I see it is, the big commercial pilots dont ever get to fly it (autopilot) so I'd rether flythe Bush or do some sort of Scenic tours then build all my hours being a CFI. I am about to take that sort of plunge which is going to sort of change from building to flying. Flythe Bush for a while I'd say (if you have the qualifications).
 

John_Jones

New Member
Hell, If you're moving up to Alaska dont do CFI fly the bush! I know some one who does it and he says it's a lot of fun. I want to do it soon but dont have the cash or the wifes support to move me her and our baby a couple thousand miles. I mean the way I see it is, the big commercial pilots dont ever get to fly it (autopilot) so I'd rether flythe Bush or do some sort of Scenic tours then build all my hours being a CFI and never actually get to fly an airplane. I am about to take that sort of plunge which is going to sort of change from building to flying. Flythe Bush for a while I'd say (if you have the qualifications).
 

Buzo

Well-Known Member
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Hell, If you're moving up to Alaska dont do CFI fly the bush! I know some one who does it and he says it's a lot of fun. I want to do it soon but dont have the cash or the wifes support to move me her and our baby a couple thousand miles. I mean the way I see it is, the big commercial pilots dont ever get to fly it (autopilot) so I'd rether flythe Bush or do some sort of Scenic tours then build all my hours being a CFI and never actually get to fly an airplane. I am about to take that sort of plunge which is going to sort of change from building to flying. Flythe Bush for a while I'd say (if you have the qualifications).

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Unfortunately most bush operations want 1500+tt. You also have to get the Alaska experience somehow. The easist way to get the Alaska time is to instruct.
 

John_Jones

New Member
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Unfortunately most bush operations want 1500+tt. You also have to get the Alaska experience somehow. The easist way to get the Alaska time is to instruct.

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My mistake I guess I was wrong on most figures, though my good friend was hired with under 900 tt with only 150tt in the Alaskan terrain. You're right though, chances of that are slim, so listen to Buzo!
 
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