49 Voices: Erik Boltman of Anchorage

Erik Boltman (Photo by Tony Gorman, KCHU – Valdez)

This week we’re hearing from Erik Boltman from Anchorage. Boltman moved to Alaska after serving in the Air Force and participated in the Valdez Fly-in.

Listen now

BOLTMAN: Alaska… I just always wanted to be here. And so I got out of the Air Force, and we packed everything we owned into a trailer and literally moved up here with some resumes.

I was an air weapons officer on the E3 AWACs. I always had the bug. Especially Bush flying. And so, as soon as I could afford it, I started getting lessons. And then took off about three years of flying to start a business and I was finally able to afford my own airplane.

It’s a 1953 PA 19-A Super Cub. So it’s an agricultural model. It was originally a crop-duster. I came across it… there was a gentleman who was selling it. We were driving through the airport one day, and he had it for sale, and it had all the modifications I wanted done to it, and it’s been a fantastic first airplane. Just a safe, easy to fly, just a good honest airplane.

You know, just tons of little Bush trips. Learning how to bush fly all over Knik Glacier area, Seward, Homer, everywhere I could get. But the Cub is slow so it takes a long time to get there.

I mean of course, Valdez was always the big one. Love coming here. This is like the highlight of my year, coming year. My first time was in 2011, and I was walking around as the wannabe, talking to all the pilots and trying to figure out what airplane I wanted to get. And then brought my own airplane, first time, last year.

I know, I’m not trying to kiss Valdez’s but, but I really do love it here. I love going out to the beaches. I love the Fly-In because it’s so cool to talk to other pilots and spend days out here on the Tarmac. We took a whole week off just to come out here.

Tony Gorman is a reporter at KCHU in Valdez.

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