Real Answers from Real Pilots

Bush pilot in Alaska or Hawaii

(Ray Thomas) #1

Anyone have any thoughts of getting your hours working as a bush pilot in alaska or Hawaii.

Is this a way to also build to 1,500 hours and if so what are the pay and the prons and cons.

Thank you so much.



It is certainly a way to build your 1500 hours, but think very carefully about it. Flying in Alaska can be rather dangerous, I would not want to do it without significant training up there.

I do not know anybody that has flown in Alaska, but something tells me that story or Adam might.


(Tory) #3


I have a friend that flew for Northern Air Cargo in Alaska. He loved the flying. Hated the cold.

Let me reach out to him and see what I can gather.




I live and fly in Hawaii and we have no bush pilots. While being a bush pilot will definitely give you great stick and rudder skills, you’d be better instructing or some other light cargo gig where you’ll use more of your instrument skills and dealing with ATC.


(Ray Thomas) #5

Thank you guys. But is there similar kind of flying in Hawaii? If I want to build my hours and work towards my 1,500 hours?


Adam is the Hawaii expert, but my understanding is that there is not bush flying in the same sense in Hawaii. Hawaii does have small communities, but they are not isolated like the ones in Alaska, thus there is not a need for “bush pilots”.

(Michael Taft) #7

I know a Youtube enthusiast, Swayne Martin, flew for Mokulele to build the rest of his 1500. Like everyone has said Adam would be the expert in that region. The weather up in, Alaska however, is definitely a gamble. “To each is own” I guess.



As the guys have said I’m the resident Hawaii “expert” and no there’s no semblance of bush flying in Hawaii, unless you want to fly helicopters (there’s LOTS of those)? Hawaii is considerably smaller than Alaska, there’s no snow so any remote areas can easily be reached by car, boat, plane or helicopter. There is other flying than Hawaiian Airlines however as was said. Mokulele is a small 135 carrier that flies Caravans and PC12s. Problem is there are many aspiring pilots in Hawaii and they all know someone who can get them in. Even those who do don’t fly very much.


(Tory) #9


Here’s what I’ve gathered:

My friend flew for TransNorthern Aviation. He said it was a low time gig, pay was low, but people were nice. He recommends Ace Air Cargo for being more reliable.


(Ray Thomas) #10

Odd I have heard the pay more than some CFI positions and I contacted a few and the pay seems higher than some schools and what they pay CFI’s.

(Tory) #11


I never said the pay was lower than what a CFI would earn. Just “low.” All relative.