Worst Place to be a Pilot TV series

“You guys really should be in a TV show or something. Maybe like ‘Ice Pilots’ or ‘Flying Wild Alaska’ or something?” – comments I’ve been told many times over by various people who know what I do for a living. Well, it finally happened! Channel 4 in the UK commissioned a four part series all about the lives of the pilots out here in Indonesia. It was filmed over nearly three months from February and features yours truly in the last two episodes of the series.

Worst Place to be a Pilot poster pic

Worst Place to be a Pilot poster pic

I believe the premise of the show is to highlight how our company takes on pilots with minimal flying experience and how they are trained up to fly the Cessna Caravan out here in Indonesia. In addition to the newbies learning the ropes, there should hopefully be a fair amount of footage from the more experienced pilots out here in Papua showcasing the challenges we face daily, and the more bush and mountain flying side of things.

I’ve not actually seen the show yet as as I’m still out here in the jungles of Papua but hopefully it’ll be as entertaining to watch as it was to shoot. I was involved with two separate sessions of filming, firstly in Timika with Dom and Mus, and then in Nabire with Stevey and Mark. All of the guys were great fun to work with and certainly taught me a fair bit about how TV is made. It’s more hard work than you might imagine and requires a lot of repetition. And I mean A LOT of repetition!

Me being filmed with John Cutts in Pogapa

Me being filmed with John Cutts in Pogapa

Due to that repetition I felt like I was saying the same things over and over again in various situations, so it will be interesting to see the final edit; hopefully I come across ok and don’t sound too much like a fool! As it’s a TV show made for a wide audience, I know some things will be sensationalised a fair bit but that’s to be expected. So for all you aviation fans, just try and look past all that and enjoy the show; there’s not many aviation based TV shows, so we have to accept that in order to make them appeal to a wider audience, things will get over-egged a bit. Hopefully it’ll be an entertaining series and give you a look into the daily lives we all live out here in Indonesia.

Hours of interviews for a few minutes screen time!

Hours of interviews for a few minutes screen time!

The four part series Worst Place to be a Pilot will start at 9pm on Channel 4 in the UK on 19th August 2014. I’m told I’ll feature in the third and forth episodes. An international release should follow at some point with additional footage.

UPDATE – May 2015

The TV series is now being shown on Discovery Channel in the USA titled Air Pressure and can be seen on Thursday evenings. Check your local TV guides for exact times.

UPDATE – October 2015

The TV series is now being shown on National Geographic Channel in Australis titled Pilots Under Pressure. Check your local TV guides for exact times.

Matt Dearden

Matt Dearden

English born professional pilot, writer, blogger and columnist. Currently flying the Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter in Papua, Indonesia.

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25 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi I just tried to watch the first episode from the channel 4 website but it says : “the service is not currently available in your area”. I am currently in australia, Melbourne. Is there a way I can watch it? Cheers Andrew

  2. Anonymous says:

    Same problem in france and luxemburg

    Cya roy

  3. Anonymous says:

    u need to use a prox yserver in UK

  4. Anonymous says:

    Its on you tube. A bit dramatic but worth a look

  5. Bill says:

    Watched 1st episode last week and found it really interesting, so am recording the episodes as they re broadcast. Currently watching 2nd episode; also very good. Only ever been to Jakarta in Indonesia, but I’ve flown in small ‘planes (oil company operated) into desert airstrip locations in the Middle East – as a passenger – so am finding this a really engrossing series. Will look forward to seeing you in the next 2 episodes. All the best and stay safe 🙂

  6. Pau says:

    Saw the “guy with the axe” clip on the first episode and remembered your blog. I like the TV show even with the extra-dramatic point of view im not really fan of.

  7. Emma Mac says:

    I loved it and I have a fear of flying so that’s a pretty big win! You came across really well and I think jacking in the IT job for such an adventure was a great move (says the girl in the IT job) x

  8. Emma Mac says:

    🙂 Any tips for getting over this pesky fear of flying thing? I watched one of your videos on Twitter where you were taking off from this ridonkulous (yes, it was that scary, it needed a whole new word) runway that was like a ski jump (those, I actually enjoy) and my heart was in my mouth! x

    • Matt Dearden Matt Dearden says:

      Well I don’t suppose you’ll be flying as a passenger in quite the conditions I have to! Commercial aviation is incredibly safe and all I can suggest is to simply keep flying. The more you do, the easier it will get (oh and a couple of glasses of red beforehand always helps me doze off – as a passenger I hasten to add!)

  9. Emma Mac says:

    Oh god, can you imagine! If I were to fly as your passenger, you’d probably boot me out of the plane! So far, just getting on flights and (like you say) having a drink or two has been the most effective solution. And, you know, the occasional quiet little cry into the on board magazine! Hopefully, one day I’ll be able to actually enjoy the experience. x

  10. SkyPilgrim says:

    Hi Matt .great blog ,
    just finished watching season 1 . will there be another season ?
    i used to fly the twin otter and beaver buzzing around low level. Then jumped on a caravan for 5 year . most fun flying i ever did .
    I then flew the 727 and i am now on the 737 for an airline . You are doing it right . I miss the old days of having fun in an airplane . If you ever come to canada let me know , i am based out of vancouver BC .
    Fly safe and take care

    • Matt Dearden Matt Dearden says:

      I keep looking Canada way as a possible next step but am enjoying the flying here a bit too much to move on just yet.

      Not aware of a season two for the TV series but I hear season 1 is going to be shown in the US on Discovery so we’ll see if that brings any more interest for a second season.


  11. Anonymous says:

    Hello Matt or Mr Moose. as you are known elsewhere in the vehicular world! The first series of this show will be on SBS 1 (free to air) in Australia next Monday night 26/1/15 at 8.30pm. We’re only 5 months behind down here!


  12. Niina says:

    Hi Matt, just finished watching the show here in Finland and I am speechless! That’s what I call Flying 🙂 I work as a flight attendant on big jets, studying to become a pilot (just got my PPL) and you have given me tons of new exciting inspiration and perspective 🙂 I really felt your passion for what you’re doing. Thank you for an awesome blog. Fly safe!

  13. El says:

    Hi Matt. You’re awesome!

  14. Luis says:

    Hey Matt!! I just watch the show in Los Angeles, its really exited what you guys do outthere. I will love to fly there!!.
    I was wondering if we could email I have a few questions if you could answerd me, I’ll apreciate it!! Fly safe!!

    • Matt Dearden Matt Dearden says:

      Hi Luis, if you’d like to know more there’s plenty of information on the blog in the FAQs section accessed in the bar at the top of the page. If you’ve got a question not answered in there, feel free to contact me on the contact page also accessed from the menu bar at the top.


  15. J S Christensen says:

    Greetings from Austin, Texas, USA. So glad to have found Season One on YouTube. You’ve got a bunch of fans at our house, a bit late to the party but earnest nonetheless.

    Just amazing flying. Bravo! I was looking for some videos to send to my son’s friend (age 15) who is working his way (penny by penny, hour by hour) toward his pilot’s license. Not sure if his mom will ever speak to me again if I show her these “Worst Place to be a Pilot” episodes, but they are all very well filmed, edited, etc.

    Thanks for letting us tag along inside your cockpit. Such equanimity with all those popping steel drums of fuel. It seems to me that, but for a decade or so re: timing, you could be piloting for any number of space agencies, working staff and supply runs to space stations in low earth orbit. From our side of the world, it appears you have the mental constitution, and a strong heart. A brush up on some orbital mechanics, some hours in the space flight simulator, and you’d be good to go.

    All the best, and good luck to you Sir.

  16. Pilot Online says:

    nice sharing, my blog is about pilot online

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