WingsConnect - Making Aviation Connections

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Buckle UP! Meet Adventurous Alaskan Aviator RoyRobert Fischer-Akootchook!

Boy, do I have a treat for you all! 

One of the favorite things I do with my aviation site & blog is to share unique, exciting, and pure Aviation loving Pilot Spotlight Interviews!! I'm a firm believer that Great stories are meant to be shared and I genuinely love shining the light on different pilots I have the pleasure of connecting with either in person or online by sharing some of their flying story.

Each interview is an Adventure, a glimpse into a different world.... different faces, experiences, and places, but we all have the same fierce aviation love burning strong within. I find each Pilot Spotlight lends itself to new learnings, reinforces others, has the potential to ignite sparks of inspiration to visit new places and adds a deeper dimension to each pilot after reading about their responses that show their love & passion for flying.

I'm so exited to feature in this Pilot spotlight with you RoyRobert Fischer-Akootchook! He's one of my favorite IGers. Follow his handle and you will be in for an exciting visual aviating Alaskan ride when you do: @ROYROBERT130

His Alaska aviation pictures on Instagram captured my attention. It takes a special something to keep capturing my eye & his pictures are ones I look forward to show up on my feed!!:-) With his feed, you gain a first hand, steady stream of beautiful wild Alasaka. From what I see, Alaska is so different from the concrete jungles I have walked. Even after moving to Virginia, which is less concrete junglish:-), it is far from the wild & more natural I see in much of Alaska. Growing up, I remember my Dad getting National Geographic, and seeing pictures of Alaska. For some reason they resonated. In the past few years, I saw Flying Wild Alaska and was very much WOW'D by these pilots called, "Bush Pilots" and the glimpses of some of the lives I saw there.  Now THAT's some wild windy flying!! I've been & continue to be fascinated by Alaska. A trip there is on my list. Of course, it must include Flying Alaska & fishing!:-)

 When I read RoyRobert's responses his love for flying sonic boomed!:-D Flying love sounds to be engrained in his every cell. His responses are energized, fiercely focused on his long love for aviation and his pictures show a beautiful lens into the flying world he lives in Alaska! I loved reading every response & seeing the pictures shared! I share with you his dedication to share his pictures. It took him a few attempts to send all pictures as I got to see that the internet connectivity was slower in Alaska, especially in the bush. Despite, he kept with it until I had all the beautiful aviation pictures to share with his spotlight piece here.

With no further wait, it is my pure pleasure to virtually introduce you to RoyRobert & share his responses in this edition of WingsConnect Featured Pilot Spotlight. Enjoy the ride!

Question 1: Tell me your Love at First Flight story and how you fell in love with aviation - where & when was your first flight? Also, what did you fly?

I fell in love with aviation from the second I was born! Since as long as I can remember! I grew up in an Aviation / Military family. It's what we always talked about and loved to do. My whole life all I every talked about or wanted to talk about was aviation. You know when you grow up with your best friends they always changed what they want to be we they grew up. Like in preschool they want to be a superhero, the next year they want to be just like their dad, a year later they want to be a firefighter, and it changed every year. But not for me, my whole life I knew I wanted to become a pilot. It never changed. That's what I loved and had passion for my whole life. It's still the same today, but my love for aviation grows everyday. Through out school all my teachers I had growing up they used to get mad because I usually changed the subject somehow and talked about as always, airplanes! Aviation! All my friends and family know that's all I every talk about. I can go on forever and ever and ever about aviation as you can see. Lol. :-) ✈️

The 1st time I took controls of an airplane was on December 21st 2012. The day people thought the world was going to end but it was just the beginning for me. I flew a Cessna 172 with a G1000 in it, down in Arlington, Texas. KGKY. Then in May 2013 I graduated from high school in my little hometown of Kaktovik, Alaska. I wasn't exactly sure where I was going to go to flight school at the time. But, I happened to go to a little air show in Fairbanks where I  talked with flight schools, that's where I fell in love with Warbelows Flight School. The school that I joined in August of 2013. I had my solo flight just after 10hrs of flight time. After a few of my solo flights I had to take break, 2 months off because I was having a hard time, I lost two close family members. So, in December of 2013 I wanted to finish and earn my license for the ones I lost. A week later, I passed my written and worked on more cross country hours so I could get my checkride in before the instructors left for Christmas break. My instructor and I scheduled my checkride for December 16, 2013. But the day before the checkride I cancelled it because I didn't like how the weather was. It was fly able for student pilots but it was in my personal minimums. Plus, I didn't feel 100% ready. After the break I went on another Mach checkride and felt ready. On the morning of my checkride the FAA examiner walked in and said, "good job." And shook my hand. I asked why and he told me that I made the right choice of canceling my first checkride. So I felt really good about the checkride! And I did do great, I earned my Private Pilots License on January 19, 2014. 

Question 2: What is the best advice you can give to fellow pilots?

The biggest one I can think of is to be "better safe than sorry." If you don't feel like flying cancel it and don't go. Or if the weather looks good for a few hours and you think you can beat it you most likely won't especially in Alaska. I've seen many crashes, all were pilot error and bad decisions. I have my own personal minimums, the regulations say you can fly but I wouldn't want to or feel comfortable doing so. You can always cancel flights if you don't feel comfortable. Advice I'd give to fellow pilots would be to always study and stay fresh. Because I took long breaks and didn't really get any studying in and I forgot a few things when I got back into flying. 

Question 3: What is your favorite part of being involved in aviation?

My favorite part about being in aviation is to fly airplanes! Well I love everything about aviation it's hard to name just one or a few.....hundred. Lol. I love to do any kind of work on the planes like taking off the wing covers and warming up the planes with the heaters when it's 45 below outside and I'm not even the one flying that day. Another good one is: I love how when you become a pilot you join the aviation family, like on Instagram all the student pilots or commercial pilots cheer you on or congratulate you when you pass a little test or something. It's great! They're always there to help you out if you have questions. 

Question 4: What is the best eating spots you've found in your aviation travels?

I'm not really too sure, since I fly to little dirt strips in the middle of nowhere. But I know when I buy my own plane and fly up on the North Slope of Alaska. I'm always welcomed into people's homes for dinner if I ever fly into any of the small villages in Bush Alaska, and I know native food would be on the menu. 

Question 5: What are your favorite airports that you've flown into and why?
My favorite place to fly into is Tanana, Alaska. PATA. On final you get to fly low over the Yukon River just before you touch down on the dirt strip.

Another good one is in Manley Hot Springs, Alaska. PAML. It's a new airport that just opened in the past year and it's like landing on a little narrow dirt road. It's fun to fly in when it's a little breezy because its a challenge to land from the winds or downdrafts from the huge hill next to the runway.

And my third favorite airport to fly to is in Lake Minchumina, Alaska. PAMH. It's a another airport that's not maintained, it's a soft strip and there's tall grass that grows on the runway. At both ends of the runway is the lake, so you have to land spot on, so you don't over shoot and fall off into the lake. 

Readers: Now, fasten your seatbelt tight, yell CLEAR PROP & check out his aviation action pictures!

Eyes out!

Like a Pro!
Legit! I like that fuzzy chair cover, too.:-)
Sky Gold!
Ready for high altitude adventure!

WOWZAS! What a supercharged ride through reading the responses & enjoying the view, right?!

RoyRobert, you have certainly inspired me and strongly reinforce my desire to visit Alaska one day! Thank you so much for sharing your time to divulge your responses and a few favorite Avi pictures so each of us reading gets to know you a bit more. What a fun visual & cerebral ride!:-)

Keep doing what you're doing & living it UP, Rockstar! I look forward to seeing your ongoing aviations adventures shared in your IG posts.

Happy & Safe Flying, Always! 

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