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Jim Tweto from "Flying Wild Alaska" stars in the Discovery Chanel reality docu-series.

Jim Tweto is the COO of the airline Era Alaska. Jim was born in Wichita, Kansas, in 1954, but his family moved to Silver Bay, Minnesota shortly after his birth. Like many boys growing up in Minnesota, Jim's passion was hockey, and in high school he was the starting goalie on the school team. By his senior year Jim had become well known for his abilities on the ice and was recruited by colleges from across the
Jim Tweto in "Flying Wild Alaska"
Jim Tweto Flying Wild Alaska
country, including the University of Anchorage. So at the age of 18 the strapping young man from Minnesota moved to Alaska to play college hockey, but it was here that he discovered his love for flying. Jim would take flying lessons whenever he could find time between his college classes and hockey practice, and eventually earned his pilot's license.

Although Jim was a talented hockey player, he knew that it wouldn't be his lifelong career. So in 1980 he stopped playing hockey and moved to the village of Unalakleet to start building fishing boats. Jim was a hard worker, but not without a sense of humor, naming his company "Gussik Ventures" after the Eskimo term for a white person. These "Tweto Boats" were used by the locals for all types of fishing, and nearly three-quarters of the boats in the region today were built by Jim in the early 80s.

In December of 1984, Jim decided to try as hand as a professional pilot and started flying for a small airline in Unalakleet. The company was run by Ferno's father, and it was here that Jim and Ferno's relationship blossomed. Jim was a natural as a pilot, and his entrepreneurial spirit encouraged him to start his own company several years later. A far cry from the ERA Alaska of today, Jim's company started with one airplane and Ferno Tweto taking calls at home while their young daughters Ayla Tweto and Ariel Tweto were toddling around their small apartment. Jim's business was a big success, and in 1990 he joined forces with Mike Hageland to form Hageland Aviation. Over the next decade the company continued to grow, and in 2008 they merged with ERA Alaska, creating the largest regional airline in Alaska.

Jim is respected across the state as one of the best small plane pilots, and has logged over 30,000 hours behind the yoke of an aircraft. But flying small planes in Alaska can be a dangerous profession, so it is rare for a pilot to rack up so many hours of flying in the bush without a mishap. Jim has only had one accident during his many years of flying, during a 2007 off airport landing in his Super Cub. Although Jim's neck was broken in the accident, within months he was back to work, loading planes with essential supplies and flying the wilds of bush Alaska.




Ariel Tweto Talks 'Flying Wild Alaska,' Calls BS On Seeing Russia From Anyone's House

JIM TWETO (FLYING WILD ALASKA): FACTS

Where does Jim Tweto live? Find out here.

Birthplace: Wichita, KS
Hometown: Silver Bay, MN
Current Residence: Alaska
Wife: Ferno Tweto





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SEE ALL FLYING WILD ALASKA NEWS


 
 
 
caj says:
flying wild alaska is my favorite program.
caj says:
i watch the program with my grandson and we think ariel has a great personality and she gives that needed laughter to the show.
dee says:
Where can I get DVD's of the Flying Wild Alaska series on Discovery???
lin says:
I lived in Unalakleet 4 years, app 1976-80 and I enjoy seeing the places and people. Sure has changed. Wish program would show more about the local people and village.
hawk says:
Hi Jim: I might have met you once in Silver Bay. Iplayed high scghool football with Ron. We were very good friends. He would callme once in a while at odd hours of the morning tocomplain about the light during the summer. One of our classmates told me about his accident. We lost a great man when he passed away. One of my buddies heard me talking about him last week and told me about the show. Your mom was agreat lady too. Not sure if you knew but EdwardZup passed away about 16 months ago from cancer. Coach Conboy is up in your area now as well. Tell Rons family I think about them and keep them in my prayers. Look forward to seeing the show
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