Video Interview Down Below
All of us as skydivers love a good Heli jump, but have you ever thought what it would be like to be the pilot or owner of a Heli / Mobile DropZone. PussFoot recently had the chance to not only jump but meet and chill with Dusty Little, the owner-operator of Heli Alaska Inc. Below you will find a brief interview and video with Dusty. Blue skies and bombs away.
How did you become interested in helicopters? and what made you want to turn it into a career?
While working up on Alaska's North Slope I was riding in the back of a Bell 212 with a crew of friends, (headed to work on a remote island) I then realized that I no longer wanted to ride in back.
What was your inspiration or motivation to start a helicopter company?
DustyIt was a lifelong desire, the thought was on my mind every second of every day.
Others would tell you it was just a matter of time!!! My determination sums up most of my life.
What is your most memorable moment as a pilot?
5/29/15 as My business partner and I took ownership of N678AS. It was then that I realized my lifelong dream of owning a helicopter business was staring right at me. It was now time to fly the bird back home to Alaska.
What is your favorite part of owning a Heli company?
Ultimate freedom! I have the ability to land at my leisure. Often times I'll pick up an old friend and drop him from 5500' over his backyard. He's a skydiver of course. On the flip side, if flying home from a remote job and by chance, there's a friends cabin in-route, I I'll swing by for a hot cup of Joe...
What is your least favorite part of owing you own company?
I can't recall one! I enjoy jumping high hurdles and at 5'6" this keeps me nimble.
Tell me about Alaska and tourism, do you see the sport growing? Do you feel that more skydivers are coming up?
Absolutely, it's becoming a local summer solstice attraction. With a few more details to iron out, the future looks promising.
3,2,1 see ya!
What's next for Heli Alaska?
Looking to 2018 we have plans to expand with details to follow...
Where would you like to see Heli Alaska in 10 years?
I believe a five aircraft, multi-mission capable company is on the horizon.
Any advice for someone looking to start a Heli company?
Count your pennies!!!!
What sets you apart from other helicopter company's?
We're locally owned and operated. As most Heli pilots show up for an Alaska season/experience, my experience is now 11yrs strong in addition to having been born and raised right in my backyard.
How in the world did you get started on taking skydivers out jumping?
A friend called out of the blue one day and said he was working at a local drop zone. Wanted to reach out and see if the Heli was available for the afternoon to drop jumpers. My response (Hell Ya). See you in 20...
What do you feel are the difficulties of taking up fun jumpers?
Any time you operate a helicopter with doors off, the heightened sense of emergencies goes through the roof. Jumpers carry all sorts of deadly weapons, (selfie sticks, loose costume attire etc.). It's great fun!!!
All of the above
Tell me some of the pros to having a skydiver use your service?
Dusty1 - It generates revenue. Oh wait that benefits me!
2 - Jumpers get to feel that free fall sensation they thrive for. Considering doors are off, everyone gets a window seat up to altitude.
Seat with a view
What was the scariest moment taking a skydiver for a jump?
It's always the weight shift when two jumpers exit the rear of the Heli. If the timing is just a second off the Heli gets a little radical.
What was the funniest moment taking a jumper up?
I'd say at -10F as I sit snug as a bug in a rug the jumpers riding bitch we're not so happy.
Lastly, if you were a drink, what would you be and why?
Cold beer, it makes me smile after a long day in the front seat. Kokanee if I had my choice. The glacial background represents my amazing journey through life.
Make sure to check out the Video below. Dusty talks with PussFoot on a glacier during the Alaska Skydive Centers solstice boogie.
Thank You, Dusty for taking your time to talk with me and show me a hell of a good time in Alaska.
Make sure to follow Heli Alaska Inc. on Facebook @helialaskainc1