Bush pilots are known for traversing remote, backcountry areas worldwide on brave solo flights. But becoming a bush pilot takes more than stellar flying skills. It also requires resourcefulness, independence, and extensive survival skills in order to navigate remote, inhospitable areas. If the life of a bush pilot sounds appealing to you, keep reading to learn more about this exciting and challenging career.
Aircraft used for bush flying
The term bush refers to remote wilderness areas beyond settlements, such as in Africa, the Australian Outback, and the tundra of Alaska and Canada. These backcountry aircraft must have the ability to takeoff and land from remote, rough terrain that is typically unreachable by any land vehicle. To make this possible, bush pilots fly smaller propeller powered aircraft that are usually equipped with floats, skis, or oversized tires. Common aircraft models used for bush flying include the Aviat Husky, Cubcrafters X Cub, and the Cessna Caravan.
Bush pilot training
Training to become a bush pilot takes years of experience and licensing. Bush pilots must normally receive a private pilot’s license, followed by a commercial pilot’s license. For pilots hoping to transport people in the bush, an air traffic pilot’s license is also necessary. Some pilots also learn mechanical skills in order to repair their aircraft.
Careers for bush pilots
Bush pilots can pursue a wide variety of career paths, each involving flying to remote locations. Commercial pilots often ferry people or supplies to different sites, which can support tourism or even assist with rescue missions. Bush pilots are also used for missionary purposes, often helping isolated people by delivering medical assistance, goods, and food. One thing is for certain: No matter the career path, the life of a bush pilot is filled with freedom and adventure.