Famed Alaska Pilot Jim Tweto, Hunting Guide Killed In Western Alaska Plane Crash

Tragedy struck Western Alaska on Friday when famed bush pilot Jim Tweto, whose family was featured in the Discovery Channel series Flying Wild Alaska (we also wrote about his daughter Ariel in 2015), was killed along with a hunting guide in plane crash. Here’s some info on the accident from Alaska’s News Source:

A social media account for the NTSB shared at 3:59 p.m. Alaska time that the agency is “investigating the crash of a Cessna 180H airplane near Unalakleet, Alaska.”

Alaska State Troopers report that they received an SOS notification from a Garmin InReach device at 11:48 a.m. on Friday. A plane crash was reported 35 miles northeast of Shaktoolik after a Cessna 180 was witnessed attempting a takeoff but failing to gain elevation. The aircraft crashed, killing both the pilot and the passenger.

The deceased have been identified as 45-year-old Shane Reynolds of Orofino, Idaho and 68-year-old Jim Tweto of Unalakleet.

Here’s the Alaska State Troopers dispatch:


Location: Nome

Type: Plane Crash

Dispatch Text:

On June 16, 2023, at 11:48 am, Alaska State Troopers were notified of an SOS activation from an InReach device. It was reported that there had been a plane crash 35 miles Northeast of Shaktoolik. The Cessna 180 aircraft was witnessed taking off but not climbing and then crashing.  Subsequent information was reported that both occupants of the aircraft were deceased. AST responded from Nome and recovered the two bodies from the crash site. Tentative identification of the deceased is Pilot Jim Tweto, age 68 of Unalakleet, Alaska, and passenger Shane Reynolds, age 45 of Orofino, Idaho. Next of kin has been notified. The bodies are being transported to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Anchorage.  NTSB was notified of the crash.

Condolences to the victims’ loved ones. Here are some tributes on social media, starting with an Instagram post from Ariel Tweto: