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Thread: Thank you everyone!! I am in your debt :) go Alaska!!

  1. #1

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    Thank you everyone!! I am in your debt :) go Alaska!!

    Hello everyone! I am writing to you from Bethel, Alaska!
    I had an absolutely incredible journey and I really wanted to take some time to thank each and every one of you on this forum.

    Last week I posted here telling you about my struggles of finding a job in Alaska.
    In short - I quit my flight instructing job and flew to Anchorage to find my place and I was feeling lost because I wasn’t getting anywhere.

    I reached out to this community asking for some advice and uh... holy smokes - I got SO MUCH HELP. You Alaskan pilots are fantastic. Just incredible.

    So many of you actually called me to encourage me to never give up and keep going. That seems to be the overarching theme.
    Don’t give up, show up to the door, talk to the chief pilot, try again, all it takes is one yes, don’t give up.

    You guys shared so many of your stories with me. Stories of how you ended up here, stories of your wife(wives...), how you crashed, etc. some were very interesting and some were just um... sketchy haha. (I really don’t think you should be telling some of the things you told me LOL). Yeah it’s amazing how you guys are still alive and kicking. /respect! But I did learn from each and every one of your stories. Thank you. You guys kept me going.

    Some of you decided to meet with me over lunch and just hang out and have a good time. One of the pilots at Lake Clark took me through the pass and my goodness.... that flight was surreal. I was practically drooling due to the awesome scenery and maybe partly due to the most terrible turbulence that I have ever encountered. I definitely tightened my sphincter muscles that day. And another awesome pilot from Birchwood who seemed like he knew literally everyone -and their dog- took me up in his 180 and taught me how real flying is done in Alaska. I have never flown so low in my life haha! But interestingly the flight with him really prepared me for my evaluation flight at Bethel.

    Anyways, one connection led to another and that just started building. You guys were getting ‘feeler’ out for me, you guys messaged me on the forum to share thoughts and contacts, and soon I was getting texts from all these random people “Hey I heard your story.... I am so and so... and uh give this number a call tell him I gave the number” And those “call this number” started to overlap and it eventually got me to the owner and chief pilot at an operator in Bethel AK.

    And by the time I reached out to them they already knew about me. “Oh yeah.. uh so I have your info - come out to Bethel! see ya!” That was literally the extent of our conversation haha. It seemed so ambiguous because they didn’t send me any paper to sign or anything and I wasn’t even sure if I was being offered a job. But all of you experienced Alaskans spoke to me in unison “this is how it happens! Get out there! Bring your A game!”

    So I delayed my original flight back and booked a flight to Bethel. And huge thanks to one of you who got me Alaskan airlines passes!! Thank you so much!
    And I got out here to Bethel and met all the incredible people and they were so pleased to see me!! They said hardly anyone actually comes out to Bethel in person to get a job! So today I got to see the chief pilot and he offered me a job!!! I was SO happy- it’s beyond words!

    And then the casual “oh yeah! Let’s see how you fly” bomb from the chief pilot. I got super nervous but thankfully one of the members here gave me detailed heads up on what might happen in an evaluation flight (THANK YOU) and everything went well. But oh boy - we flew low!!! when I was flight instructing I always taught my students to gain altitude to fly anywhere but it was so different here. If it wasn’t for the ‘fun flight’ that I had with the guy from Birchwood I think I would have been out of my comfort zone! Thanks again!!

    But in the end the chief pilot wrote me an employment letter since I will be needing that to drive through the Canadian border during COVID restrictions.

    And now - I return to Wisconsin. I am packing everything in my car and I start the long drive to Alaska!!! I am SOOOO excited!! (except I got an old rear wheel drive Lincoln and I am scared )

    From the bottom of my heart- thank you. I will NEVER forget the kindness that you all have shown me. I am extremely grateful. You guys are amazing!!
    ‘I pray that our paths cross so that I can personally thank each of you.

    Thanks again - and please please stay safe!! I don’t want more “stories” lol. I want all of you to be around for loooong time so I can fly with you all!

  2. #2
    Charlie Longley's Avatar
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    Congrats way to hang in there!

    I flew 135 everywhere in the state except the Aleutians. Spent a year in Bethel flying a Twin Otter. My one piece of advise is to do whatever it takes to not hit the ground.
    Thanks jinkeonbae thanked for this post
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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Longley View Post
    Congrats way to hang in there!

    I flew 135 everywhere in the state except the Aleutians. Spent a year in Bethel flying a Twin Otter. My one piece of advise is to do whatever it takes to not hit the ground.

    Wow!! Awesome . Yeah it’d be a real shame to die after all these combined efforts. I’ll try!!

  4. #4
    G44's Avatar
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    Fantastic and congratulations!

    kurt
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  5. #5
    FdxLou's Avatar
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    Proud of your GRIT!
    Lou
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  6. #6

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    Great Job!!
    DENNY
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  7. #7
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Remember: Pay Attention, and good flying!

    Gary

  8. #8
    Utah-Jay's Avatar
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    WOW, great story and great outcome

    Congrats

  9. #9
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Outstanding! In this time of COVID this and COVID that, it’s wonderful to see someone open a door to opportunity and fulfilling his dream.

    Drive safe on the way up, take your time, and make sure that Lincoln is mechanically sound.

    Congratulations, and please keep us posted!

    MTV

  10. #10
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Outstanding! Congratulations!

    Bill
    Very Blessed.

  11. #11
    RVBottomly's Avatar
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    Most cheering thing I've heard in a long time. Well done, and steady as it goes!
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  12. #12

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    Man, that just makes me happy to hear. I wasn't one of those to offer flying advice, as I'm just a fairly low-time private pilot. But I followed your thread with curiosity and was cheering from the sidelines. Nicely done, sir! Keep us apprised of your progress in the years to come.
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  13. #13
    SJ's Avatar
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    Congratulations and great work everybody!

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------

  14. #14

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    Congratulations, Supercub.org guys are the best!!!
    Mick Capouch
    PA-18 150 N6TD

  15. #15

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    So...who you fly’n for?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

  16. #16

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    If your tires aren’t in perfect condition, get new ones. Then pack at least 2 extra tires and wheels for the Lincoln, in addition to the usual spare. It’s always pothole season along the route.

    Congratulations!

  17. #17
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Congratulations!

    keep us posted and ask Ernie if it is safe!
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  18. #18

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    Bethel and Western Alaska is a difficult place to fly and there will be lots of new things to learn. Consider yourself still a student. Be willing to learn, there will be a lot that is new to you, much of it is not available in books. Good luck.
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  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by reliableflyer View Post
    Bethel and Western Alaska is a difficult place to fly and there will be lots of new things to learn. Consider yourself still a student. Be willing to learn, there will be a lot that is new to you, much of it is not available in books. Good luck.

    Don't be afraid to say NO!!.Lots of ice and how good are you at 200' on the gauges . Make sure who you fly for doesn't pressure you to go. You will put plenty of that pressure on yourself. Plenty of landings with the windshield covered with ice.

    Sandy
    Sandy
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  20. #20
    Speedo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aktango58 View Post
    Congratulations!

    keep us posted and ask Ernie if it is safe!
    It wouldn’t surprise me if Ernie has more sled time than any other person.
    Speedo
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  21. #21

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    Making me miss NW Alaska just thinking about this. That's a great story, I'm sure you feel like you earned it. Seems like people can recognize when someone really wants it. I'm a couple steps behind you (~300 hours, commercial, nearing CFI, ~250 tailwheel) and plan to do exactly what you just did... I'll let you know how it goes! Thanks for the inspiration.

  22. #22

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    Congrats!! Are you able to say what outfit you got a job with? Be sure to buy stock in brothers pizza, and remember: there is a beautiful woman behind every tree in bethel. The radio chatter throughout the village CTAF is very alien at first but you’ll catch on quick!

  23. #23
    wyatterup's Avatar
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    Funny... I heard about all the beautiful blue eyed girls waiting for me in Shageluk.

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