Matt McLaughlin is one of my bush pilot heroes and he is one of the reasons I become a bush pilot.
He is the author of the most well known bush pilot memoir, :”Flying the Knife Edge” . This book covers his experience in Papua and Papua New guinea dealing with some of the most challenging airstrips.
So who better to be the first person we interview and answer the 5 questions that we will ask every featured bush pilot.
1.) What would be your number one piece of advice for pilots starting out in the industry?
Make sure you receive great training! Training is the foundation on which your experience will be laid.
And training is what will get you out of trouble when you make a mistake. And you will make mistakes!
2.) What was the route you took to becoming a Bush Pilot?
Royal New Zealand Air Force trainee – New Zealand General Aviation pilot and instructor – Papua New Guinea Bush pilot, initially in a Cessna 206, then later the DHC-6 Twin Otter.
3.) If you could change one thing about getting there, what would it be?
Nothing! I’m very happy with the way my aviation journey unfolded.
4.) How did you manage to get the job you are currently at?
I saw an advert for Cathay Pacific Pilot recruitment in ‘Flight International’ magazine in 1990. Applying immediately, I kept updating my hours for the next 5 years, then got an initial interview at their Auckland, New Zealand, office in March 1995.
I was flown to Hong Kong for round two of the interview process in May 1995, and was offered a job as a Second Officer on the Boeing 747-400 a few months later and I started in September 1995.
My days as a Twin Otter captain, bushflying in Papua New Guinea, at the time one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a pilot.
The challenges presented by that flying have never been matched in my career since.
I’m sure the passengers on my Boeing 777 these days would agree that is a very good thing!
If you think there is a specific bush pilot we need to feature, please comment below
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