Q&A: How do you get bush time in Alaska?

Question by Alloy Boy: How do you get bush time in Alaska?
It seems like most operators want 500+ hours Alaska time before they hire you, so how the heck do you gain Alaska time in the first place, especially if you’re from the lower 48? 500 hours on your own is a wallet buster. Maybe they only hire their own? Is it an elite club?

Best answer:

Answer by John B
That’s the way of the world.

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5 Responses to Q&A: How do you get bush time in Alaska?

  1. loonatic72 says:

    I lived in Juneau, alaska for 24 years and you could go up there and get a seasonal job with ERA or a local tourist company doind tour flights. If you get a chance to go you wont come back, soon as I get the chance im moving back

  2. doc says:

    You basically have to get lucky for someone to hire you in the bush, because they favor natives and many native corperations are in charge of most bush areas. I have never been interested in working in the bush because I have a family that I don’t want to be away from for that long, but I know there are jobs that come up in the bush, and usually in northern Alaska. There are some apprenticeships but those are few and far between. I live in Alaska now for 14 years and it is pretty hard to make a good living here if you don’t have an inside connection. You can go to http://www.jobs.state.ak.us , you will need to get an screen name and password, but that has a lot of Alaska jobs on it, if you are that interested.

  3. Mark says:

    Instruct there.

  4. calnickel says:

    They will change their mind once they run out of pilots (can’t be too picky if their is no one left with 500 hours ‘Alaska time’ and no one can get ‘Alaska time’). Used to be the same thing for float hours too, but then there was a shortage of pilots and they changed the rules.

    The Alaska boys like to think they are a breed of their own but I’ve flown in conditions just as challenging right from zero hours and so have hundreds of student pilots in Alaska, the Yukon, and many other places around the world. It’s just a different mindset that’s required, not a different skill-set.

  5. adventurepast says:

    L.A.B. Flying Service in Juneau hires pilots just out of flight school with little or no hours. I have heard that they have to pay a fee to go to work. In return they get room and board, an allowance and lots of flight time.