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Bush Pilot

What's 'work' for a bush pilot?

  • Author:
  • Updated: September 27, 2016
  • Published November 27, 2012

The most recent Oddball Pilot post examines the idea of "good old-fashioned work." Aidan Loehr writes:

I've been bouncing around between various flying jobs and some mountain guiding. That plan worked great for the last four or five years. Lots of freedom and control over my own time while making just enough money to fill the truck up with gas and live on peanut butter and ramen…

Still, there was something missing. While flying in Nepal back in 2011 I realized I was missing "work." Don't get me wrong. Guiding mountains and flying Piper 140s for 18 hours straight can be tough. But it lacks the satisfaction I get out of wrestling a big piece of equipment out of a plane, or bringing villagers to town to pick up necessary supplies. Work that provides useful, necessary services to communities.

I imagine the idea of "work" differs from person to person. For me work is coal mining, driving a backhoe, hammering a nail. Things that produce very clear concrete results. Unloading a new generator in a village … now that is work! Flying to the villages of Western Nepal felt like work. Flying in Western Alaska feels like work.

Loehr describes coming back from Nepal and looking for a real "working" job. Now, he thinks he has found it, back in Alaska.

Read the rest of his story at Oddball Pilot.

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