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Air Tanker Pilot


An air tanker pilot career won't exactly make your name a household one. In fact, if you do your job well, and don't crack up the plane, no one outside the industry will know who you are. If you're involved in a really spectacular firefighting effort, say one that saves an entire neighborhood from rapidly encroaching flames, your team might get a mention on the local news. If the reporter has a flair for the dramatic, you might even get a team shot next to the planes. However, you'll still be blessedly anonymous.

On the other hand, let's say you're a hot dogger, perhaps with an aerobatics background, who gets his jollies taking more risks than anyone else. You fly into smoky canyons when you can barely see past your wingtips. You perform ridiculous dives toward the ground at over 100 mph, dropping your load just a few feet above the treetops, and pulling up just before the plane stalls and you wipe out. Okay, so you're known as the industry daredevil. You're lucky to still have a job, as the aerial firefighting industry isn't the place for these kinds of antics. When your luck eventually runs out, and it will, your name (and your plane) will be plastered all over the front pages. Guess you got your wish.