Flying Wild Alaska
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This series follows the unconventional Tweto family that rules Alaska s most dangerous skies. Operating their family-run airline, Era Alaska, they battle unforgiving Alaska weather and terrain to transport lifes necessities to one of the most remote and extreme regions of America. With no freeway system for hundreds of miles, Era Alaska is the lifeline for the isolated rural inhabitants of the Bering Sea coastline. From champion snow dogs bound for the Iditarod to medicine for sick children to groceries for miners working on an operation on the North Slope, the goods that the intrepid pilots ship on any given day are crucial to everyday life.
In the frigid Alaskan town of Unalakleet, the Tweto's and their family-run airline battle the arctic elements to transport supplies and passengers to some of the most inaccessible areas on the planet.
Pilot Luke Hickerson transports dangerous chemicals from Barrow to the remote village of Atqasuk. Then, in Unalakleet, the cold and dark winter claims its first casualty and Jim must make arrangements to transport the casket.
Unseasonably warm weather sends Jim up to the Brooks Range to look for potential landing strips. Ferno and Ariel prepare an Eskimo feast for returning pilot John Ponts and the week ends with an icy plunge into the Unalakleet River.
In Bethel, construction crews race to finish Era's newest hanger before the unforgiving winter snows arrive. But when Jim flies in to inspect the progress, he is far from happy. In Unk, fierce crosswinds blow John Ponts' tiny 207 all over the sky.
Pilot Yuri Ivanoff trains in Bethel for a potential promotion to fly the 208 Caravan. But danger strikes when heavy ice forms on the wings. In Unalakleet, weeks of rain force Jim to do a river landing and a greenhorn arrives.
Era Alaska makes a special canine delivery to four-time Iditarod champion Lance Mackey in Fairbanks. After the first snow in Unalakleet, Jim and Ferno cope with an influx of schoolteachers on their busiest day of the year.
A dangerous frozen river landing leaves Jim and Ferno skating on thin ice, while Ariel's flying lessons end in disaster. The biggest snowstorm of the season hits, shutting down all of Western Alaska and leaving several Era pilots up in the air.
Halloween in Alaska brings vicious crosswinds that wreak havoc on Era's small planes. Ariel hopes to learn the family business in Unk, but a power blackout tests her abilities when she takes over as station manager.
The approaching winter darkness fuels a mass exodus from Unalakleet. In Barrow, a bootlegger attempts to smuggle in illegal liquor and Luke races to complete a daring rescue before the sun sets for two months straight.
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The big seller for me wasn't simply that the stories were human, real and moving, but the scenery is spectacular. I never had any idea how differently Alaska looks or how the people truly live. The Tweto family is the star of this show along with their pilots and the amazing airplanes. This is really roughing it. Alaskans depends on groceries, medicine, transportation of the sick, dangerous chemicals (this one for a water plant) and anything you can think of that has to do with daily living.
The episode on a teen suicide was heartbreaking along with how an Alaskan family travels from all over to attend the funeral. The suicide rate is high up there. Forced landings on ridges and in rivers are particularly harrowing. Heavy ice forming on the wings and treacherous winds make for knuckle rides and these plots let you know that although they have flown for years, each flight is not to be taken for granted. The stories are real and the people are intelligent, serious and humorous. It's not the life for many, but it's a fun ride. Era Alaska is the lifeline for the isolated rural inhabitants.
I have now watched the 5 programs on the 1st DVD. Great! Just started watching the 2nd DVD. Thoroughly enjoyable programs in my view. Held my attention the whole time. Well done!
but rather than blind the viewer to the real purpose of the show - which is to record the tension filled lives of modern Alaskan bush pilots - she's placed almost in the background - but not enuf to dim her bubbly personality - or disappoint her fans
in other reality series - i've often felt suspicious about how much preplanning or scripting was done - in this show - there were such moments - such as the Diabetes Polar flight - and the pro skateboarders visit - but - usually - the events feel spontaneous
this show is fast paced and fascinating - with gorgeous airborne scenery of landscapes that could quickly engulf the careless pilot and his unlucky passengers - and plenty of the not so gorgeous overcast and fog shrouded distances which is more typical of Alaska
if you've dreamed of being a good enuf pilot to fly the bush - here's a health dose of reality - with plenty of front seat footage - the only risk is that you might actually be tempted to challenge those ever changing Alaskan skies
The Aviators DVD is more like what I was looking for.
The local airline is a small family business flying local people to remote areas in sometimes very difficult conditions. But it is real a life story, mainly like a documentary but with interesting people and action. You will have some insight how the people in Alaska live and the fantastic nature combined with partly rough meteorological conditions. I definitively highly recommend it. The video quality is good.
What annoyed me however was that I had a box with two times disk 2 in it instead disk 1 and disk 2 and Amazon doesn't leave me no other choice than to send it back to get a refund and pay a shipping supplement of 15$! The DVD's are worth even this surplus but I find it not to be a costumer friendly attitude.