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Download PDF by Jenifer Lee Fratzke: Alaska'sWomen Pilots

By Jenifer Lee Fratzke

Alaska’s weather, severe topography, and cost distribution make airplanes and helicopters a vital technique of transportation. 90 percentage of this nation is unreachable by means of highway, and no less than one 3rd of Alaska’s humans reside within the bush. In Alaska, go back and forth through air has continuously been greater than simply leisure and piloting has continually been greater than traditional. Alaska pilots are the most skilled and skillful aviators on the earth, they usually run the gamut from advertisement pilots to aviation safeguard inspectors, from big-game courses and bush pilots to aerobatic fliers. In Alaska’s girls Pilots: modern pix, Jenifer Fratzke has compiled seven interviews of latest girls aviatrices from approximately each achieve of that gamut. This assortment starts a major documentation of what ladies have contributed to the aviation in Alaska. Fratzke herself has been a flight attendant, flight engineer, copilot, and pilot. via her eighteen years of expertise flying in Alaska, she has tapped into Alaska’s wealthy and unfolding aviation heritage by way of flying with and interviewing many ladies pilots. The seven oral histories she contains right here clarify the women’s motivations for flying; they comprise the descriptions and praises of mentors that made the entire distinction; and so they bear in mind tales of grief and tales of excellent fortune. every one own heritage is striking in what it finds of the background of aviation in Alaska and the person contributions that heritage is outfitted on. those tales are distinct and inspirational; while they've got an echoing caliber that compounds, strengthens, and helps the voices of these who've long gone sooner than (Harriet Quimby, Beryl Markham, Pancho Barnes, etc) and people who may possibly come after.

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A commercial pilot’s salary insures economic independence and security. And as far as personal space is concerned, what better place to call your own than a cockpit? With only the stars and sky above, a pilot surrounds herself with instruments and controls that translate into power. A pilot makes decisions that cause an MD-11 to depart Anchorage for round-theworld flights to such places as Indianapolis, Paris, Dubai, Bombay, Bangkok, and Taipei. The word “commercial” comes from the Latin conduco, to hire or to profit.

If they didn’t have forklifts, we’d take it off a stick at a time or a trellis at a time. We figured Alaska's Women Pilots 46 6/2/04 12:45 PM Page 46 Alaska’s Women Pilots out what we could use for pulleys and how much weight cargo straps lifted. A lot of people were operating injured or with bad backs. It was a dangerous job. I knew that I couldn’t do this until retirement because I’d probably be in a wheelchair. I was over thirty myself, trying to carry my weight. I’m not as strong as a man. If some piece weighed seven hundred pounds, and I only could pick up a hundred pounds of it, that meant that these poor two guys had to pick up three hundred pounds apiece instead of their fair third.

I’d been flying up here for years, and I’d never applied for a real airline job because it wasn’t where I was headed. I was not enamored with jets; I certainly didn’t want to wear a uniform. It seemed like the only place to go that wasn’t down from Northern Air Cargo. I didn’t want to apply to an air taxi or do that all again. So I went down to Seattle, not having any idea that getting hired by an airline was a game. I was so naïve. It’s so funny looking back on it. I was dressed nicely, but dressed completely wrong.

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