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Labor Day Flying -- Pilots At Work

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While most Americans and Canadians are enjoying a three-day weekend in honor of Labor Day, the skies are full of pilots who are doing their jobs despite the holiday. According to federal statistics, more than 100,000 U.S. workers earn their living in a cockpit, including all kinds of flying -- charter, helicopters, cargo, corporate flight departments, rescue operations, firefighting, aerial photography, crop dusting, and more. Few of those jobs allow for standard weekends and holidays off, and all of them require a hearty work ethic. To celebrate these workers, and to entertain our readers who might have a day off, we selected a few videos from around the web showing pilots doing their jobs -- often under trying, or even terrifying, circumstances.

A video posted just a few days ago by the Royal Canadian Air Force shows pilots from the U.S. and Canada working with Russian pilots in an exercise designed to practice responses to a hijacking. This video, shot from inside the cockpit, shows pilots from the Air National Guard working to fight the recent fires near Yosemite Valley in California. In Peru, a couple of pilots in a twin turboprop fly a challenging -- some might say frightening -- winding approach to a mountain airstrip. And in Afghanistan, a recent Marine video recognizes the work of the ground crews the pilots depend on.

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