The Tweto family is coming back to the Discovery Channel airwaves on Flying Wild Alaska on Friday, battling the arctic weather and soaring across the skies via their family-run business, Era Alaska.
Era Alaska helps transport goods—and families—throughout one of the most remote, extreme areas of America. There are no roads available for travel or transport, making Era Alaska a lifeline for the inhabitants living along the Bering Sea coastline. Owner Jim Tweto is passionate about not only flying, but making life easier—possible, even—for his fellow Alaskans. His wife, Ferno, is not only the cargo runner and dispatcher, but also a mom. Their two daughters, Ayla and Ariel, are also part of not only the Tweto family, but the Era Alaska family, as well, working as ground crew, although Ayla, who is studying to be a paramedic, isn’t around or on camera as much as younger sister Ariel. “Year round, Jim and his family are motivated by the fact that the livelihoods of thousands of people depend on their business and employees every day,” the Discovery Channel says on their website.
The weather in the remote areas of Alaska can bring -40F temperatures, as well as hurricane-speed winds, for months at a time. These conditions demand the best of the best bush plane pilots be on the Era Alaska team. The company also has almost 75 planes and destinations, and the pilots' duties range from commuter flights to “bush” flights to off-airport areas, which can get particularly dicey during landings. Sometimes the planes may be taking teachers to conferences; perhaps they are picking up a group of hunters from a planned big-game hunt in the wilderness; or, they may even be carrying champion snow dogs for the Iditarod. But, whatever the cargo or destination, Jim makes sure his pilots understand how important their job is—and that the well-being of the communities in the areas often depends on them and Era Alaska.
Ariel, of course, was working on getting her pilot’s license last we saw her, and one would hope that she has improved her skills since—particularly her landings! She’s not without the grit to do it, for sure—she was, after all, a wrestler on her high school’s co-ed wrestling team. She comes across as being a bit scattered at times, but she is also, like the rest of her family, determined to do the things she wants to do, like getting that pilot’s license. It’s hard to imagine that Ariel will not master the skies one day—and her landings.
Flying Wild Alaska is back on the Discovery Channel tomorrow, Friday, June 8, at 10 p.m. E/P.
Image: Wikimedia Commons