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Former Fairbanksan takes off as 737 Alaska Airlines copilot

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Posted: Friday, November 23, 2012 12:28 am | Updated: 12:07 pm, Mon Jan 21, 2013.

FAIRBANKS - Josh Carlstrom, who grew up and learned to fly in Fairbanks, has become one of the youngest 737 copilots for Alaska Airlines.

Josh, 26, took his first flying lessons at Fairbanks International Airport with the late Tim Sander as his instructor and he made his first solo flight here nine years ago.

A West Valley High School class of 2004 graduate, he attended Utah State and spent summers working in Fairbanks as a waiter at the Princess Riverside Lodge. He took visitors he met on informal sightseeing flights during the evenings and worked as a ramp agent for Alaska Airlines during one summer.

After completing college a year early, he landed his first airline job with Great Lakes Aviation, flying the Brasilia and the Beechcraft B1900 in Colorado and the Southwest, becoming a captain at 23.

In 2010 he worked for a West African company, and made regular flights to Timbuktu, according to his dad, Dave Carlstrom.

His next job was as a copilot with Horizon Air, flying the twin engine Q-400 turboprop for a year and a half.

Josh will be based in Anchorage with Alaska Airlines and expects to be making regular stops in Fairbanks before long, Dave said.


FESTIVAL DONATIONS: If you donate this weekend to the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, the festival will match donations with registration scholarships to those with physical or developmental disabilities. Go to for details.


ALBERTA RAIL: I don’t know if the latest wave of publicity about the proposed railroad to haul oil from Alberta to Alaska is going to be followed by a wave of investment that will produce a major feasibility study.

But G Seven Generations of Vancouver says it is pushing ahead with the plan it first announced in June 2011 about a railroad to carry oil from Alberta to Alaska.

In the 2011 press release, the company put the cost at $12 billion, saying that oil from Alberta could be pumped into the pipeline at Delta and exported from Valdez. The latest press release does not include a cost for the project, but says the effort is focused on generating support for the feasibility study.

Opposition to increased tanker traffic from British Columbia is a key plus for this concept, the promoters say.

“The greatest strength of our Alberta-Alaska railway concept is the support it has received from First Nations along the route,” G7G Partner and CEO Matt Vickers said in the latest press release.

“Studies have already demonstrated that a rail link to Alaska is a viable alternative to the oil pipelines currently being planned through British Columbia,” Vickers said. “This approach is timely because it promises significant economic benefits to First Nations communities and all of Canada while avoiding many of the environmental risks associated with current pipeline proposals and related supertanker traffic off B.C.’s West Coast.”

“British Columbians opposition to oil tanker traffic on B.C.’s coast is very strong and should not fall on deaf ears,” said Chief Marilyn Slett of the Heiltsuk Nation.

The company said, “Current First Nations support for the rail-link concept is specific to exploring the feasibility of the project.”

Dermot Cole can be reached at or 459-7530.

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