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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

UAA Flight Technology Professor Mark Madden holds numerous certificates and ratings, including airline transport pilot multi-engine, commercial airplane single-engine land and sea, instructor certificates for CFI, CFII, MEI, AGI, IGI, is tailwheel-endorsed and has been designated a Master CFI by both the National Association of Flight Instructors and Master Instructors, LLC. He is a member of the Federal Aviation Administration's FAAST Team Safety Program and was named National FAA Safety Team Representative of the year in 2013 by the General Aviation Awards program ...

Colleen Mondor

The Warbirds of Glory Museum has released a video showing its progress on the restoration of a B-25 bomber that crashed in 1969 while operating for the fire service, but which was ...

Colleen Mondor

As 2014 comes to a close, the Alaska aviation community can breathe a collective sigh of relief over dramatically improved accident statistics for the year. According to the National Transportation Safety Board aviation database, through Dec. 25, 2014, there were a total of 74 aircraft accidents in the state, resulting in five fatalities. This is a marked change from 2013, when 35 lives were lost in 94 crashes.

Sifting through safety statistics is a common activity for aviation analysts, but while the data can reveal what happened in a certain place and time, it can only offer clues as to why...

Colleen Mondor

After a competitive search involving more than 150 candidates, the National Transportation Safety Board -- the federal agency tasked with investigating major accidents in the U.S. -- has hired two new investigators for the Alaska Aviation Safety Office. Shaun Williams and Millicent Hoidal have diverse aviation experience and bring the Alaska staffing back to full-strength for the first time in almost three years...

Colleen Mondor

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