Flying BushPlanes in Alaska
FLY8MA began as a YouTube channel providing educational flight instruction videos to student pilots seeking to fly for fun or pursuing a career in aviation. We now offer online courses to over 16,000 students nationwide, flight training in Alaska, cabin rentals on our private runway, and small aircraft charters around the state. The variety of operations here ensures every day is interesting.
Big Lake, Alaska. https://goo.gl/maps/ptxWSif63kM5y5kU7 We are on the road system and about a 1 hour drive to Anchorage. There are grocery stores and the typical "big box" stores within 10-20 mins.
About FLY8MA Flight Training
FLY8MA Flight Training provides Online Ground School courses to over 20,000 students in all 50 states. We are headquartered in Big Lake, Alaska. In 2021, we purchased 115 acres of land in Big Lake which is the future home of the FLY8MA Pilot Lodge.
What a normal day looks like:
Here at the Pilot Lodge, some staff lives on-site, some live locally, and some live and work remotely in the lower 48 or abroad. To understand the regular day-to-day operations of the Lodge, it is important to both understand the goals of each phase of construction as well as the functions our staff performs on a regular basis. While each staff member has their specialties and areas of expertise, it is important and expected that a staff member be willing and able to perform any of the tasks listed below (of course if a web developer is tasked with changing an aircraft engine they would be doing so alongside our A&P for guidance).
IT CAN NOT BE OVERSTATED THAT YOU BE WILLING, EXCITED, and WORK JUST AS HARD ON TASKS OUTSIDE YOUR JOB DESCRIPTION AS YOU WOULD ON YOUR PRIMARY TASKS AND RESPONSIBILITIES.
A typical day may start with changing a tire tube, weeding the garden, responding to emails, flying with a student after lunch, conducting a ground lesson via skype, cutting down trees and splitting firewood before dinner, and washing airplanes and cars in the evening prior to driving to Anchorage to pick up a new student arriving at the lodge that night.
The Employee Experience
To sum it up, it is hard work, sometimes dirty work, where we accomplish as much as possible each day and the projects are very rewarding.
In summer of 2021 we built our first runway and hangar.
In summer of 2022 we built 5 cabins now used by staff and flight students studying and working here.
In winter of 2023 we are building an airplane.
All of these projects are tough, but it is very rewarding to live in a cabin we built, or fly in an airplane built by our staff.
There are a HUGE variety of tasks and projects to be completed every day here at the FLY8MA Pilot Lodge. The ideal candidate should be someone eager and willing to learn new skills, perform tasks with and without supervision, and most importantly be a self-starter with a positive attitude.
If that describes you, then I am sure you will excel here and find many opportunities within our diverse company.
Company Core Values
Do what you say and say what you mean
Staff’s primary goal is to do what is best for the company. Always put the company first in your daily tasks. Be willing to do what it takes to advance and benefit FLY8MA. FLY8MA cannot work for you if you do not work for it.
Attention to detail, self-initiative (do not wait around to be told what to do, find something productive to do with your time that benefits the company).
Tasks should be completed 100%, not 99%.
Improve everything you touch
Whether digital or physical, leave things in better shape than you found them.
Room and Board
Housing is available for staff on a limited basis based on what we have available on-site at the time.
Folks often assume the cost of living is extremely high in Alaska. While it may be more than living in rural Wisconsin, it is comparable to most average cities in the united states (rural Alaska is very expensive, we are closer to "the city").
A gallon of milk here runs about $3-4
A gallon of gas is usually $1-2 cheaper than in California (or about the same as the national average)
Items available at Walmart or Target are generally 5-10% more than in the lower 48 (so a TV in Florida that costs $500 may cost $530 here).
All staff are paid an annual salary (paid out twice per month). Regardless of what tasks or projects you are working on here you will always be guaranteed the same reliable wage. Salaries are determined based on experience levels in skills that benefit the Pilot Lodge (i.e. social media marketing, construction, aircraft maintenance, flight instruction, etc.). All staff members will work for 6 months with a basic starting salary.
As the staff member shows the skills they are capable of and learns new skills salaries increase.
Salaries range from $25k/yr starting to $100k+/yr after 6 years of continuous service at the Pilot Lodge.
Getting Here and Getting Around
We are located about 10 mins driving from a grocery store, and 30 mins from Walmart, Homedepot, Target, etc.
Biking it is about 4 miles on gravel roads to the grocery store.
We do recommend you have your own vehicle, however it is often easiest to fly to Alaska rather than bring a vehicle up. Finding a used vehicle on craigslist or facebook marketplace is generally pretty easy.
There are endless hiking, biking, fishing, and hunting opportunities all within 1-2 hours driving of the Pilot Lodge.
Each year we do take two staff fishing trips (one for salmon and one for halibut). All pilot lodge staff are flown via bushplane to the fishing locations on the Kenai Peninsula.
How to Apply
Not all of the categories may apply to you. Complete the application to the best of your ability and with your current skill set. You can always reach out to us at 234-738-2582 with any questions.