Famous Bush Pilot Jim Tweto And Hunting Guide Killed In Plane Crash

Screenshot courtesy of Discovery UK/YouTube

John Oyewale Contributor
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Famous bush pilot, Jim Tweto, and his hunting guide were killed Friday in a plane crash in western Alaska.

Tweto, 68, and his hunting and fishing guide, Shane Reynolds, 45, died when their Cessna 180 airplane crashed Friday morning 35 miles northeast of Shaktoolik, Alaska State Troopers said in a daily dispatch. The plane was seen taking off but not climbing into the air, before eventually crashing, according to the dispatch. State troopers recovered the bodies from the crash site, tentatively identified them and transported them to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Anchorage, Alaska, the dispatch reported. (RELATED: Four Children Lost After Plane Crash Found Alive After 40 Days In Colombian Jungle)


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A post shared by Ariel Tweto (@arieltweto)

Tweto, of Unalakleet, Alaska, was widely known for his “Flying Wild Alaska” series on the Discovery Channel. Born in Kansas, he went to Alaska at 18 to play college hockey at the University of Anchorage but soon picked up an interest in flying and would give up a potentially promising career in hockey to become a pilot, according to his Discovery Channel bio. He earned respect as one of Alaska’s best small-plane pilots — logging over 30,000 flight hours — with only one accident in 2007, the bio read. He started a small airline which grew into Hageland Aviation, Era Alaska and then Ravn Air Group, according to the bio and an Anchorage Daily News report. Ravn Air Group’s checkered history includes becoming Alaska’s biggest regional airline before filing for COVID-related bankruptcy in 2020, according to Bloomberg. Ravn was also beset by a few air accidents in 1997, 2002 (pre-purchase flight), 2013 and in August and October 2016.

Tweto’s daughter, Ariel, announced the deaths Friday on Instagram, saying Jim had ‘died doing what he truly loved’.