Colleen Mondor

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Of all the ways in which Alaska's aviation and fishing industries have been associated over the years, the use of aircraft to spot fish for commercial fishing operators has by far been the most controversial...

Colleen Mondor

Of all the ways in which Alaska's aviation and fishing industries have been associated over the years, the use of aircraft to spot fish for commercial fishing operators has by far been the most controversial.

Fish spotting is not unique to Alaska or even the West Coast; according to Aerial Age Weekly, it was used as early as 1920 off the coast of Virginia when “....each morning at 5 o’clock a flying boat carrying a pilot, radio operator and fish spotter leaves the station to aid fishing craft.”...

Colleen Mondor

The National Transportation Safety Board took the unusual step this week of citing not only errors committed by the pilot, but also company practices and Federal Aviation Administration oversight as factors in the November 2013 crash of a Hageland Aviation flight at a landing strip on Alaska's North Slope.

Neither of the aircraft's pilots nor the single passenger were injured in the accident that saw the Beechcraft 1900 touch down short of the landing strip at the Badami oil field airstrip, but the plane sustained substantial damage in the crash, according to a final report on the accident issued Tuesday by the NTSB...

Colleen Mondor
FAA weather cams now operational statewide

After 15 years, the Federal Aviation Administration's Alaska Aviation Weather Camera Program is now fully deployed, with a website that allows easy access to cameras in 221 locations statewide. Initiated in 1999, the final camera was placed on Prince of Wales Island last September, bringing the program in ahead of schedule and on budget according to the agency. Combined with data collected by the National Weather Service , pilots can now make preliminary decisions about going on a flight by logging onto a computer before they even call Flight Service...

Colleen Mondor

As part of an ongoing series highlighting the diversity of Alaska's aviation community, Bush Pilot exchanged some recent emails with Keith Manternach, who lives on Anchorage's Upper Hillside. Manternach has flown all over the state and said he became interested in flying in the early 1990s, because "it seemed that all of my hunting and fishing buddies had airplanes or had friends with airplanes, since I was an avid hunter (and) fisherman I decided to get my pilot’s license and bought my own airplanes shortly after that."...

Colleen Mondor

A working group established in 2011 to address the issue of midair collisions in Mat-Su is now turning its attention to the Glenn Highway corridor.

Comprised of representatives from government, military, industry and various user organizations, the Mat-Su working group found success last summer in making long-awaited changes to the published Common Traffic Advisory Frequencies in the Mat Su Valley. The new frequency assignments should simplify communications between aircraft operating in the area and are intended to reduce the possibility of mid-air collisions caused by pilots on incorrect frequencies...

Colleen Mondor

Last November, during a National Transportation Safety Board hearing on the March 2013 fatal accident of the Alaska State Troopers Helo-1 helicopter , investigators discussed the survival gear carried onboard the rotorcraft by pilot Mel Nading. It included what the troopers' relief pilot told investigators was “enough gear where we could live comfortably for several days, food, shelter, sleeping bags and all that stuff.”...

Colleen Mondor

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities released its annual Alaska Airports and Aviation report last month, providing statistics on air travel around the state in 2014, outlining changes at some of the state's rural airports and looking ahead to planned airport projects for this year...

Colleen Mondor

There are more than 250 operators in Alaska licensed under Parts 121 and 135 of the Federal Aviation Regulations as air carriers, air taxis and charter providers. They are based in all areas of the state from Southeast to the North Slope, from the Interior to the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. Companies range in size from single pilot owner-operators to rosters that include dozens of captains and co-pilots. They fly everything from single-engine Cessna 185s to De Havilland Dash 8 twin turbo-props carrying up to 37 passengers. The range and depth of Alaska’s aviation industry is as vast as the state it serves....

Colleen Mondor

One of the most common aspects of Bush pilot stories is high drama -- which is likely why Jack Jefford remains one of the lesser-known members of Alaska’s aviation history. As his 1937 arrival in the territory was later than the more famous pioneering aviators, Jefford was not the one to land first on a glacier (that was Bob Reeve), or Denali (Joe Crosson), or fly north of the Arctic Circle (Noel Wien), or year-round in Southeast (Shell Simmons). He also didn't die on the job, like Ben Eielson or Russ Merrill, nor was he gifted with an unforgettable moniker like Harold “he thrill ‘em, he spill ‘em, he no kill ‘em” Gillam...

Colleen Mondor

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