A pilot for all seasons
There are some individuals one encounters en route who inspire hope that human civilization is not going to Hell in a handbasket. One such individual who crossed my path recently is Kurt Jahr.
Kurt is in many ways un homme à tout faire and a man for all seasons. Furthermore he is a Renaissance person who engages in critical analysis, writes beautifully, and is a blogger who tackles some very heavy-duty issues.
Many say that the travel and tourism industry is the largest on the planet. In my experience, this is indeed true. But this global industry is made up of many highly skilled individuals who embody the best principles and practices of their diverse fields of endeavour. Kurt Jahr is one of the best examples of an individual who has eclectic talents and skills, is capable of engaging in the most complex forms of critical analysis, and always emphasizes what is in the best interests of people.
He is also a remarkable and creative individual who has many transferrable skills; and he is one of the best examples of someone who fully understands the interconnectedness and interdependence of all things.
Kurt is a pilot for Thunder Airlines, an airline that serves Northern Ontario from a base in Timmins (the home of Shania Twain) and serves remote communities on James Bay and Hudson’s Bay. He is also a social commentator as well as a talented webmaster. His website designs are wonderful examples of media literacy as well as being highly communicative aesthetically and effective.
Kurt can talk about just about anything including political theory, economics, ethical philosophy, science — he has a preference for the “hard” sciences — religion, futurism and the role of technology in the advance of human civilization. His latest “obsession” (his term) is pharmacodynamics and human nutrition; disciplines in which he confesses he is still learning.
I would also venture to say that he is the kind of hands-on philosopher who manages to achieve a pragmatic approach to life — he is after all a pilot — but also has what appears to me to be a superb grasp of the theoretical and even the ethereal.
In this podcast, Kurt comments on many issues including aviation safety, economics and the airline industry, aviation as both a science and an art, the iconic “character” of the bush pilot — including “flying by the seat of your pants” — the role of the intuitive “feel” in flying, and flying as “a state of flow”.
To hear this chat, click on the link at the top of the page.
Thunder Air, more than an airline
The Polar Bear Express, alternative transportation to Moosonee and polar bear country
Timmins, Ontario, home base of Thunder Air and the home of Shania Twain
Moosonee, “Touch the Edge of the Arctic”
High Flight , a visual rendering of the famous poem by John Gillespie Magee, Jr. Born in Shanghai, China, Magee was an American pilot who flew for the Royal Canadian Air Force before the United States entered the Second World War. He died in a mid-aire collision.
AcademicEarth.org, a resource Kurt recommends for lifelong learning
Thunder Air’s northern routes
An update on Kurt
Kurt is now a pilot with Air Canada Jazz; a bit closer to his home base in Markham, Ontario. Congratulations Kurt on your new set of wings!
For more information on Air Canada Jazz, click here.
More on Kurt…
And Kurt does another podcast, this time with Maclean’s magazine!
Other aviation stories from The Philosophical Traveller