AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 60

Flying Wild Alaska is Discovery
Channel’s answer to an aviation prayer:
a show that reveals the excitement,
drama, and community that exemplifies
general aviation. But thanks really
have to go to that ditsy heroine—Ariel
Tweto—who, in her quest for a TV career,
got her hardworking pilot-centric family
starring roles in one of Discovery
Channel’s most successful new shows.
It wraps up its second season in January.
Flying Wild Alaska chronicles the
day-to-day life of the Tweto family in
the remote Alaskan village of Unalakleet
(population 700). Jim Tweto is
chief operating officer of Alaska’s largest
regional airline—Era Alaska. It’s a
commercial operation that employs
more than 120 pilots and flies cargo,
groceries, pets, supplies, people—and
dead people—throughout northern
Alaska. Its headquarters is at Ted Stevens
International Airport in Anchorage,
and Unalakleet is one of the hubs. The
company has more than 75 airplanes
and handles everything from commuter
flights to off-airport bush flying.
The Tweto family—Jim, his wife,
Ferno, and daughters Ayla, Elaine, and
Ariel—are pilots (Ariel is taking flight
instruction during the second season)
and all work for the company.
Thanks to Ariel
Ariel, a bubbly, happy, star-struck
teenager in early 2005, headed to Hollywood
with a dream. She was playing
volleyball on Venice Beach when the skill
and antics of the athletic and beautiful
young girl caught the eye of the producer
of the reality show Wipeout. Ariel
was well known for her athletic prowess
in Unalakleet. She was a wrestler (co-ed)
and won a district title. She played basketball
across the United States and in
Europe. She was also a cheerleader and
medaled in the Seal Hop, a native Alaskan
event. She also wasn’t shy.
to swing onto (it was right in front of
her); she became a fan favorite because
of her “where’s the pole?” episode.
Ariel and Baynard then put their
heads together to create a reality show
for Ariel. For two years the pair pitched
show ideas with Ariel as the star, until
Discovery Channel focused on Ariel’s
family background. It was the gritty
reality of life and flying in Alaska that
attracted the network, says Discovery
Channel Vice President of Communications
Joshua Weinberg. Ariel grabbed at
the opportunity and begged her father
to consider doing the program. Even
“Pretty soon I realized that if I wanted
to explore [Alaska], I had to have an
airplane.” —Jim Tweto
So producer Tommy Baynard asked
her to compete on Wipeout, an extreme
“sports” show that puts contestants
on a giant obstacle course with wacky
obstacles like huge mud-covered balls
and slippery ropes over slimy water.
Ariel appeared, ran the obstacle course,
but was tripped up at the end when she
couldn’t find the pole she was supposed
though Jim and Ferno Tweto were hardly
the camera-seeking types, they agreed to
do the show for their daughter.
“I’m a proud father,” says Jim Tweto.
“I’ll do whatever I can for my daughter.”
A GA pilot
Jim Tweto grew up in Minnesota playing
hockey. He was good enough that
the University of Alaska offered him an
athletic scholarship. When he got to the
forty-ninth state, he fell in love. With
Alaska, with his future wife, and with the
best way to see the state—GA flying.
“The mystique of Alaska really got
me,” says Tweto, who learned to fly in
his early 20s. “I kept looking to the west
[from Anchorage] and thinking gee,
what’s over there? Pretty soon I realized
that if I wanted to explore, I had to have
an airplane.”
Looking west took him to Unalakleet,
Jim Tweto’s
relationship with
his exuberant
daughter, Ariel,
and their love of
flying are the basis
for the popular
reality show. His
favorite aircraft is
his Cessna 180
(right), making a
classic Alaskan
off-airport landing.
AOPA PILOT • 60 • FEBRUARY 2012
where he met Ferno. Her father owned
a small airline in Unalakleet. But when
Tweto decided he wanted to stay in the
village, he started by building fishing
boats. He named his company Gussik
Ventures—gussik means “white person”
in the Inuit language. Tweto’s boats were
adopted by the locals, and in the 1980s he
built nearly three-quarters of the fishing
boats in the region.
In 1984, with his commercial cer-
tificate, Tweto started flying for Ferno’s
father and, after the couple married,
they started their own company. With
just a Cessna 185 the young couple ran
the company from their small apartment.
In 1990 the Twetos merged with Hageland
Aviation and then in 2008 with Era Alaska.

AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012

AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012
Contents
President’s Position
Hangar Talk
AOPA Media
AOPA Action
Letters
Waypoints
Proficient Pilot
Safety Pilot
License to Learn
Pilot Counsel
Fly Well
Pilot Briefing
Rally GA: Pay Up
Budget Buy: Classically Quick
Percival Provost: Fine Englishman
Flying Wild in Alaska
On Brand-New Wings
B-Ball to Biplane
2012 Tougher Than a Tornado Sweepstakes: Water Dog
The Bird and the Leprechaun
Avionics: Pilot Friendly
Technique: Wind Warrior
Wx Watch: The Problem with Pireps
Products: Anywhere Map Septa
Never Again
Fly-Outs
Fly by Wire
Pilots
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Cover2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 1
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - President’s Position
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 5
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Hangar Talk
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 7
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 8
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 9
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - AOPA Media
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 11
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - AOPA Action
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 13
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 14
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 15
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 16
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 17
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 18
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 19
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Letters
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 21
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 22
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 23
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Waypoints
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 25
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Proficient Pilot
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 27
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Safety Pilot
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 29
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - License to Learn
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 31
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Pilot Counsel
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 33
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Fly Well
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 35
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Pilot Briefing
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 37
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 38
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 39
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 40
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Rally GA: Pay Up
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 42
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 43
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Budget Buy: Classically Quick
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 45
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 46
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 47
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 48
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 49
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 50
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 51
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Percival Provost: Fine Englishman
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 53
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 54
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 55
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 56
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 57
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Flying Wild in Alaska
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 59
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 60
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 61
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 62
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 63
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - On Brand-New Wings
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 65
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 66
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 67
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 68
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 69
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 70
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 71
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - B-Ball to Biplane
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 73
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 74
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 75
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 2012 Tougher Than a Tornado Sweepstakes: Water Dog
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 77
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 78
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 79
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 80
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 81
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - The Bird and the Leprechaun
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 83
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 84
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 85
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 86
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 87
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 88
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Avionics: Pilot Friendly
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 90
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 91
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 92
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Technique: Wind Warrior
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 94
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 95
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 96
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Wx Watch: The Problem with Pireps
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - I1
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - I2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 98
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 99
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 100
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Products: Anywhere Map Septa
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 102
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 103
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Never Again
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 105
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 106
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Fly-Outs
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Fly by Wire
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 109
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 110
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 111
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Pilots
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Cover3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202009
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202008
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202007
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202005
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202003
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202001
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201911
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201907
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201906
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201905
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201903
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201902
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201901
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201811
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201808
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201807
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201806
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201805
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201804
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201803
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201802
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201801
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201711
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201710
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201707
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201706
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201705
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201704
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201703
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201702
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201701
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201611
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201610
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201609
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201608
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201606
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201605
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201604
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201603
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201602
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201601
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201511
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201510
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201509
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201508
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201507
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201505
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201504
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201503
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201502
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201501
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201411
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201410
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201409
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201408
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201407
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201406
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201404
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201403
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201402
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201401
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201312
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201311
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201310
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201309
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201308
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201307
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201306
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201305
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201303
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201302
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201301
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201212
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201211
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201210
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201209
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201208
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201207
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201206
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201205
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201204
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201202
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201111
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201110
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201109
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201108
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201107
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201106
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201105
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201103_test
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201011demo
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot0308
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com