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Jay Katz, Pacific Bush Pilot

Jay Katz in Zambia

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You just never know when you’re going to run into someone you know in an airport, but it happens to John Kelly all the time. Over the course of nearly 37 years, we estimate that nearly 1000 pilots have worked at Shoreline Aviation. Recently John was walking through the airport in Honolulu when someone walked up beside him and said, “John Kelly.” John turned to him and said, “Jay Katz.” It’s always fun to run into someone you haven’t seen in over twenty years. As it turned out, Jay and John were on the same flight from Honolulu to Guam. They were able to spend hours chatting about old times, new adventures, and life in general.

Jay Katz, a former Shoreline seaplane pilot who spent three years working with us back in the 90s, is now flying for United Airlines (formerly Continental) in some of the more remote areas of the Pacific including the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and a few countries in Asia. He states, “Being able to provide a lifeline for the remote island communities continues to give me purpose in aviation. Besides people, we carry food, medical supplies, the mail, and even stretchers to Medevac customers needing additional medical care in Guam or the Philippines. The Pacific Ocean is one of the rare places, along with Alaska, that you can still do “bush flying” with an airliner.”  

Before coming to Shoreline, Jay started his career as a Flight Instructor, and then cargo pilot in Ohio. Life must have been pretty dull, because he headed east to instruct in seaplanes on the Connecticut River. John hired him in 1991. Still looking for excitement, Jay moved on to become a commercial glider pilot (in Hawaii) and a hot air balloon pilot (in California). Currently he is a partner in Island Seaplane Service, a small floatplane operator in Hawaii doing sightseeing tours, flight instruction, and film and video work in a Cessna-206 and DHC-2 Beaver. He tells us, “I can’t seem to shake the seaplane habit.”

Jay now makes his home in Guam where he lives with his wife, Margarita. They both love to travel and thus far have visited 150 countries on seven continents. Jay says, “I’m always thankful for the opportunities that John Kelly provided me. I will cherish the memories at Shoreline Aviation as the best job of my life.” You’re welcome back any time Jay!

Happy travels-
Andrea

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