5. Become a Bush Pilot

On our 2010 Life List: become a bush pilot.

    Photo: Harrison Shull/Aurora

It's easier to pull off than it should be. Says Dan Rice, who flew for Alaska's Homer Air Service for a summer: "You just have to be persistent and a little lucky. I didn't know anyone or take an accelerated course. I had my commercial license and owned my own plane for a while, but the real key was getting my flight-instructor certificate. That's how I got so many hours so quickly—because you're flying on someone else's tab. Sending your résumé won't cut it. Some guys go up and pump gas until there's an opening. I flew up there and literally went door to door to all the operators. Then they take you seriously. You need at least 1,000 hours of flight time, and most guys are looking for Alaskan hours as well, because flying up there is so much more challenging than just about anywhere else. But I finally found a guy who took a chance on me."

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