‘Flying Wild Alaska’ Pilot Jim Tweto Dies in Accident

The bush pilot and his passenger were killed while attempting to take off in Tweto’s Cessna 180.

Experienced bush pilot and “Flying Wild Alaska” star Jim Tweto was killed in an aircraft accident near Shaktoolik, Alaska, on June 16. [Credit: Shutterstock]

Experienced bush pilot and "Flying Wild Alaska" star Jim Tweto was killed in an aircraft accident on June 16 near Shaktoolik, Alaska, according to authorities. 

According to the Alaska State Troopers, Tweto, 68 of Unalakleet, Alaska, and passenger Shane Reynolds, age 45 of Orofino, Idaho, were attempting to take off in Tweto's Cessna 180 around noon, but according to witnesses, the aircraft failed to climb.

Troopers were alerted to the accident through an SOS activation from a Garmin InReach device around 11:48 a.m.

Tweto became well-known in the early 2010 as the star of the documentary series "Flying Wild Alaska" on the Discovery channel.

"Flying Wild Alaska" aired for three seasons. It featured Tweto, his wife and three daughters, and their day-to-day life operating Era Alaska, a small regional airline serving the remote communities of Alaska.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the accident.

Meg Godlewski has been an aviation journalist for more than 24 years and a CFI for more than 20 years. If she is not flying or teaching aviation, she is writing about it. Meg is a founding member of the Pilot Proficiency Center at EAA AirVenture and excels at the application of simulation technology to flatten the learning curve. Follow Meg on Twitter @2Lewski.

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