Fly for Pie

Since 1980, the number of female pilots in the United States has remained stagnant at 6% of all pilots. In Alaska, however, with a per capita pilot population three times the next closest state, it’s not hard to find a group of women pilots to talk about their adventures.

Jody Oyen, a pilot for Copper Valley Air Service, has a tradition called “Fly for Pie.” She meets up with other women pilots in parts of Alaska to bond over a slice of pie. I was asked to come along for a trip to Talkeetna and record the conversation among a diverse group of women pilots. Jodi Harskamp, an Alaska Airlines captain, joined us at Merrill Field to fly in Jody Oyen’s Cessna 185. Jamie Patterson-Simes, a flight instructor who owns SkyTrek Alaska Flight Training, flew her own plane and met us at the Talkeetna airstrip. The four of us walked to the Roadhouse in Talkeetna and met up with Leighan Falley, a pilot at Talkeetna Air Taxi. The conversation was honest and sometimes salty.

The conversations in this episode were recorded last year, well before we even knew about Covid-19.

HOST: Lisa Keller


Segment 1a: The first segment of the show was recorded on the walk to the Roadhouse in Talkeetna. You will hear Jamie Patterson-Simes, Jodi Harskamp, me, and Jody Oyen, in that order.
Segment 1b: Walking to the Roadhouse with Jodi Harskamp, Jody Oyen and Jamie Patterson-Simes
Segment 2a: The next segment of the show was recorded in the dining room of the Roadhouse. You will hear me, Jamie Patterson-Simes, Leighan Falley, Jody Oyen, and Jodi Harskamp, in that order.
Segment 2b – 2e: Lunch at the Roadhouse with Jodi Harskamp, Jody Oyen, Jamie Patterson-Simes and Leighan Falley
Segment 3: Close/Pilot jokes with Becky Hrdy, Jodi Harskamp, Jody Oyen, Jamie Patterson-Simes and Leighan Falley


BROADCAST: Thursday, May 14th, 2020. 2:00 pm – 3:00 p.m. AKT

REPEAT BROADCAST:  Thursday, May 14th, 2020. 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. AKT

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Eric Bork, or you can just call him “Bork” because everybody else does, is the FM Operations Manager for KSKA-FM. He oversees the day-to-day operations of the FM broadcast. He produces and edits episodes of Outdoor Explorer, the Alaska-focused outdoors program. He also maintains the web posts for that show. You may have heard him filling in for Morning Edition or hosting All Things Considered and can still find him operating the soundboard for any of the live broadcast programs.

After escaping the Detroit area when he was 18, Bork made it up to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where he earned a degree in Communications/Radio Broadcasting from Northern Michigan University. He spent time managing the college radio station, working for the local NPR affiliate, and then in top 40 radio in Michigan before coming to Alaska to work his first few summers. After then moving to Chicago, it only took five years to convince him to move back to Alaska in 2010. When not involved in great radio programming he’s probably riding a bicycle, thinking about riding bicycles, dreaming about bikes, reading a book, or planning the next place he’ll travel to. Only two continents left to conquer!

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