1943-Norseman-Aircraft by Jim Oltersdorf

Jim Oltersdorf joins us to talk about bush flying in Alaska. Jim is a pilot and an accomplished aviation and outdoor photographer and writer. He thrives in extreme and high-risk areas, and he’s produced a high def documentary film called Alaska’s Bush Pilots, The Real Deal , A true story about the pilots, their aircraft, nature and the wilderness of Alaska. You can find Jim’s personal page at http://www.joltersdorf.com/ and his site for the film at http://www.alaskasbushpilots.com/.

We also have with us this episode Bob Poole, the founder of the Reason Foundation, a free market think tank. Bob has some interesting things to say about the NextGen ATC system that’s been in the works for over a decade. Bob was among the first to propose the commercialization of the U.S. air traffic control system, and his work has helped shape proposals for a U.S. air traffic control corporation.

We favored our guests over the news this time, but we did mention:

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Opening and closing music is provided by Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. Find more BroLo at his site: http://www.brotherloverocks.com/.

5 Responses to “Episode 95 – Alaskan Bush Pilots”

  1. [This from Rob in South Africa:]

    Hi Guys

    Love the show, been following it for a couple of months now. My dad would have loved it – he was a pilot in East Africa during the 70’s and 80’s and ended up with just over 14,000 hours in light aircraft, mostly on twins like the Piper Aztec, Cessna 402, Beechcraft Baron and so on. The largest aircraft he flew was the Britten Norman Trislander.

    The flying was dangerous (plenty of high ground, very few nav aids, one year they took 50% “casualties” in the company – i.e. 2 out of 4 pilots lost their lives) and he nearly “went west” after a birdstrike that took 3ft off the starboard wingtip of the Piper Aztec he was flying out of Wilson Airport in Nairobi. The only reason he didn’t crash was that the aileron on the Aztec didn’t go all the way to the wingtip so he was able to prevent the aircraft going into a spin. Long story short, he landed at about 140mph and took the whole runway to stop.

    But… that’s not why I’m writing!

    You’ve been talking recently on the show about the crazy charges imposed by the cheaper carriers in the US.

    It was my misfortune to fly Easyjet from Geneva, Switzerland to Alicante, Spain on EasyJet a few days ago. I will go to enormous lengths another trip to avoid EasyJet.

    My gripes? They have a one-bag policy in the cabin. I was carrying a small laptop backpack and a small camera bag. I ended up having to cram my expensive camera equipment into the laptop back and to repack the camera bag in my checked bag. Now I accept that it was my mistake to assume that just because I’d been able to carry the two bags onto my connection BA flights that I’d be able to do the same with EasyJet… But what I really object to is that I counted around 20 other people who somehow managed to avoid the same fate. My gripe here is – if you’re going to have a rule, it must apply to everyone.

    Second gripe: having survived the really unpleasant scrum to get on an EasyJet airplane last year, I bought optional “Speedy Boarding”. (Easyjet doesn’t allocate seats, so at boarding time it’s a mad push to get through the gate.) But EasyJet doesn’t implement “Speedy Boarding”. Examples: in Geneva there was no process at all – as far as I could see “Speedy Boarding” simply did not exist at the gate. In Spain, they did announce that they were boarding “Speedy Boarding” passengers first, but by then, there was already a crush around the gate and anyone wanted to exercise their rights to “Speedy Boarding” had to push their way through the angry crowd of other passengers. (They were angry because the gate opened 25mins after the advertised time.)

    Result? I’ll happily pay a premium never to fly on that airline again.

    Anyway – just thought I share these thoughts. EasyJet clearly care deeply about customer feedback – there’s no “contact us” section immediately apparent on their website and I got tired of looking for it.

    All the best

    May 7th, 2010 | 2:29 am
  2. [This is a fascinating site…]

    Good morning ,

    I am interior designer for an aircraft manufacturer based in France and I am opening my website showing futuristic plane concepts I created: flying yacht, sailing aircraft, honeymoon space shuttle,…
    For some of them, you will be able to visit the interior

    http://www.octuri.com

    If you have some time to visit
    have a nice day
    Yelken octuri

    May 9th, 2010 | 5:11 am
  3. Peter Humphrey

    Re ATM Privatization
    Privatization has been the topic of presentations at the ATCA annual meetings for ten years and more and the reason for stalling in the USA has long been identified: self interest by politicians at all levels. I remember an early UK NATS presentation being given explaining why they were going down the privatization route. Whatever the economic and organisational reasons (which are good), the main one was to keep the meddling hand of government at arms length. Best of luck.

    Peter Humphrey

    May 10th, 2010 | 10:07 am
  4. Just a quick comment for Bob Poole (I finally got caught up with episodes :)

    Yes, there are benefits to privatisation and yes, it’s good that Australia differentiates between aircraft by weight, BUT it costs over $100 to shoot the ILS at Avalon Airport & run the missed approach. That’s the MINIMUM cost. Now imagine doing 2 or 3 runs in a lesson.

    No wonder there are fewer & fewer people learning to fly here in Australia. They take one look at all the fees and run screaming :(

    May 17th, 2010 | 12:52 am
  5. Re ATM Privatization
    Privatization has been the topic of presentations at the ATCA annual meetings for ten years and more and the reason for stalling in the USA has long been identified: self interest by politicians at all levels. I remember an early UK NATS presentation being given explaining why they were going down the privatization route. Whatever the economic and organisational reasons (which are good), the main one was to keep the meddling hand of government at arms length. Best of luck.

    Peter Humphrey

    May 27th, 2010 | 9:56 pm
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